By Tony Hooker
This isn’t the first time that Ridgeview head football coach Hal Chiodo has visited Russ Ghere field.
In 1992, his Lexington Minutemen squad, behind a powerful rushing attack that was led by 1900-yard rusher Scot Grunloh, pounded out a 21-13 playoff win over the Blue Devils.
Fast forward to 2021, and the player names were different, but the results were the same as Ridgeview defeated Villa Grove 40-14 behind a punishing ground game that amassed 425 yards while the Blue Devils, who had been efficient in a week one win over Fisher, could only muster up 21 rushing yards on the night.
With the running game stymied, VG went to the air, and QB Liam Barr was 16-32 for 196 yards, with one interception. Brady Clodfelder hauled in two catches for 70 yards, while Layne Rund had three catches for 49 yards and Braydon Dowler also caught three passes, accounting for 21 yards. Possession receiver Robert Fancher had four catches for 16 yards, as well.
Defensively, the Blue Devils were led by Tyler Wilson, who had three solos and six assists, and Brady Clodfelder who had five solos and two assists. Daelin Price had the biggest play of the night for the Devils, scooping up a Mustang fumble and rumbling down to the three-yard line. Liam Barr was able to sneak it over from the one to put VG on the board to cut the deficit down to 28-7, but two plays later, Mustang junior Kaden Farrell, who accounted for 216 yards and three TDs on the night, took it 61 yards to the endzone, extinguishing any faint hopes that the home faithful might have harbored. Villa Grove returns to action on September 10 with a 7 p.m. home contest versus Cerro Gordo Bement.