After combining for a 13-17 record in the first 2 weeks, local teams fared a little better in Week 3, having won more games (eight) than lost (seven).
Conference play began for the new-look Western Big 6, the Northwest Upstate Illini’s North and South divisions, and the Three Rivers’ Mississippi and Rock divisions. The latter two divisions will have one crossover game on their schedule, and Sterling will have the rest of its regular season slate as conference games.
Here are some numbers of note from Week 3:
Eastland-Pearl City posted the first and only shutout win of the local season with its 8-0 victory at West Carroll.
The Wildcatz had given up 86 points through their first two games, and named Pearl City alum Brock Messer its new defensive coordinator last week.
West Carroll has been involved in the last two single-digit shutout games; they beat Durand-Pecatonica 6-0 last year. The next most recent game that involved a team winning a single-digit conference game was when Amboy beat Pecatonica 7-0 in 2016.
Sterling and Geneseo had successful debuts as new members of the Western Big 6, winning their first conference games on Friday.
Both opponents were familiar ones. Sterling ran its streak of wins over Alleman to five straight with a 36-7 win, and have outscored the Pioneers 134-21 in that span.
Geneseo opened up Big 6 play with a 21-14 win over Galesburg, and have won nine straight against the Silver Streaks – who last beat the Maple Leafs in 1932.
Conference football play began in 1971 with its original six members. Moline, Rock Island and Quincy won their conference debuts that year.
Only three unbeaten teams – Newman, Morrison and Sterling – are left after the third week of the season.
The trio also combined for a 9-0 start to start the 2017 season before the Comets beat the Mustangs 54-0.
West Carroll entered its game with EPC with a 2-0 record but fell a touchdown short.
Polo’s Week 2 opponent, the Illinois School for the Deaf, had to forfeit due to low numbers, but the Tigers rounded up eight players in time for their game at Flanagan-Cornell-Woodland.
The octuplet lost 54-20 to the Falcons. James Hawkins caught three touchdown passes for a combined 164 yards; the first came from Trystan Mort, and Taylor Mort threw the other two.
Morrison has only allowed 16 points this season, and each of them have come to start each of their three games.
The Mustangs fell behind 7-0 to St. Bede in Week 1, 6-0 to Sherrard in Week 2, and 3-0 to Riverdale on Friday before coming back to win 16-3.
Only nine schools have allowed fewer points than the Mustangs so far, and just two – Benton (136-6) and Fairfield (104-0) are from downstate.
After a disappointing loss to Rock Falls in Week 2, the Dixon Dukes bounced back with a win over Oregon.
Dixon led 32-0 at halftime, which was their largest halftime shutout score since leading Mendota 46-0 in Week 1 of 2017.