This week in Villa Grove Blue Devils football history

By Tony Hooker
Ordinarily, this space would be filled with the play by play results of the season’s first football contest, but since that season has been pushed back, I thought it would be a fun exercise to look back at contests that took place during seasons’ past on this week of the schedule.  I will be running them throughout what would have been the regular season, and then any playoff weeks.  I hope you enjoy this blast to the past.

1970
Austin Rund rushed for two TD’s to give Villa Grove an early 14-0 lead, but the Grovers gave up 32 unanswered points to fall 32-14 to Paxton.  Alan Reinhart and Steve Melton each had 12 tackles to lead the defense, but the offense could only muster 54 total yards in the loss.

1980
After a sluggish start which saw the Blue Devils fall behind Cumberland 6-0 at the end of the first quarter, Scott Mayes blocked a punt and Paul Arnold scored on a pitch  to tie the score at 6.  QB Ken Schwengel then found Brent Shunk for the two point conversion and VG took a slim 8-6 lead into the halftime locker room.  Hall of fame Coach Russ Ghere then gave one of his patented locker room speeches, and the Devils came out for the second half with a bit more focus.  Schwengel hit Shunk for a 61 yard score on the first play of the second half, and the defense, led by seniors Jay Schreiber, Brian Willis and Steve Waymire began to exert their will on the Pirates.  Mike Mayes and Schwengel would add TD runs to put VG up 30-6 before a late Cumberland TD set the final score at 30-12.  Mayes led VG with 70 yards rushing and Waymire tallied 12 stops to lead the defense.

1990
Aaron Johnson rushed for 139 yards and 3 touchdowns, and Eric Sigler added 78 yards on 7 carries as the Blue Devils swamped the Heritage Hawks 56-14 in their season opener.  The Devils’ defense, led by Derek Cooper, had seven sacks in the win.

2000
Villa Grove defeated Illiopolis 35-6 in their season opener at Russ Ghere Field.  Justin Carr rushed for 140 yards and two touchdowns and passed for 95 yards to lead the offense.  Vinny Thomas caught a 10 yard scoring pass, Daniel Myer scored on a 24-yard burst, and Tyler Vandeventer added a scoring run for the Blue Devils.  Defensively, the Devils were led by Rod Alexander’s 15 tackles.  JR Wilcoxen and Justin Prosser added 9 stops, and Thomas added 8 tackles and an interception from his safety position. 

2010
Eric Douglas tossed two touchdown passes to Sean Cler, and Jesse Shrum rushed for a pair of TD’s as Villa Grove defeated Salt Fork 28-14 in the season opener.

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