EUREKA – To this point, Tri-Valley has yet to be challenged over an entire four-quarter game.
Eureka will try to be the first to buck that trend when the Vikings arrive at McCollum Field Friday evening for a 7 p.m. Heart of Illinois Conference large division showdown. It will also be the home finale.
T-V arrives with 7-0 record and 3-0 in the division. They have outscored their opponents 291 to 48, a difference of an almost unheard of 243 points. Formerly a wing-T and later an option attack, the Vikings are now operating out of the spread.
“They’ve been working this way for the last two years,” commented Hornets’ coach Jason Bachman. “They’ve advanced more. I’m a little surprised they changed with all the success they’ve had.”
They return three on the offensive line in a trio of seniors in TJ Klein, Kyle Krzeminski and Andrew Moore. Another senior, Andrew Petrilli, returns at quarterback along with junior running back Blake Regenold.
“They do a good job getting open,” Bachman said. “Their quarterback (Petrilli) has the ability to beat you with his arm and his legs.”
T-V’s first string defense has surrendered just three touchdowns the entire season. Klein (line), Krzeminski (line), Moore (line), Petrilli (secondary) and Regenold (linebacker) are all two-way starters. They shift between a 3-4 and 4-3 front.
“They re-set the line of scrimmage,” said Bachman. “They’re front does a great job of controlling the line of scrimmage.”
While the Hornets valiantly rallied from a 22-point deficit to shock Ridgeview/Lexington 43-42 in double overtime six days ago, they’re not likely to be as fortunate if they fall behind by two scores of more to the Vikings. Their closest game has been decided by 21 points and the most they have given up in a game is 14.
“They’re a team that jumps out early and it kind of snowballs. They’ve done that to everybody they’ve played,” Bachman pointed out. “They’re a quick striking offense. We have to come up with defensive stops early”
Josh Roop is in his 15th season at T-V with a record of 112-40. In the spring, they went 3-1 with the lone loss a 45-14 home verdict to Eureka. The Hornets lead the all-time series three to two.
Notes: The Vikings are tied for first in the division with El Paso-Gridley (5-2), as those two clubs meet Oct. 22 in Downs. Before that, Titans entertain Tremont on Friday.