Friday night was supposed to have been the Bureau County showdown between rivals Princeton and Hall at Nesti Stadium.

It even felt like football weather around north central Illinois with a little chill in the air.

Due to COVID-19, they had to do their battles between booster club cookouts and food pantry drives.

It was not how they had pictured this Game Day to be.

Tiger coach Ryan Pearson said it was depressing not being able to play and the boys agreed.

Tigers Grant Foes and Tyler Gibson said it felt like Game Day wearing their uniforms and seeing all the signs for the booster club battle.

“Today’s got the feel of game day with cooler air, running around town and seeing all the signs up, it does feel like a game day. I’ve been thinking about it all year every Friday. Just looking forward to the spring (for the revised season),” Foes said

“Coach Pearson brings it up every Friday. He’s sad and frustrated,” Gibson said. “With the food drive (Friday night), we got our jerseys and all the signs are up. Like Grant said, it feels like a game day, because we want to beat Hall every time we get a chance.”

The Red Devils shared the same feelings in the Hall camp.

“Friday night was a hard one to swallow. Me and the guys all wanna be on the field right now, so our thoughts are focused on getting passed this pandemic and getting back out on the field,” Hall senior Donovan Cotton said.

That will have to wait until next spring with the IHSA’s revised seven-game format.

Cain says he is keeping his mind on football by reading the playbook and hitting the weights.

“I’ll continue looking at the plays and watch college and the NFL to pick up stuff from them,” he said. “And work in the weight room with coach Pearson and just get it done.”

With no football being played, Foes, Gibson, Cain and teammates Matt Lucas, have traded in their pads and helmet for golf club and balls for the Tiger golf team.

Pearson said it’s great to see them try new things.

“I commend all of them for stepping out of their comfort zone and trying something new,” Pearson said. “They are all competitors. They just want to compete and represent our school in a positive way.”