By Tony Hooker
There’s an old football adage that when the rain’s flying, the team that can run the ball usually wins.
On a night that saw two inches of rainfall in total, it proved to be true as Arcola used a punishing ground game to rack up 285 yards and four touchdowns as they blanked Villa Grove 28-0.
The Devils, who typically rely on a balanced attack, were limited by rains and a northern wind whipping the field, finishing with just 109 yards against the aggressive Purple Rider d. Luke Zimmerman rushed for 42 yards on 11 carries for VGHS. The Blue Devils’ Parker Stevens, who had six yards on six carries, had a long touchdown run called back on the first play of the game, and it seemed to set the tone for the Blue Devils, who couldn’t seem to stay out of their own way, with mishandled snaps. Untimely penalties and fallen receivers at the most inopportune times.
Liam Barr and Layne Rund split time at quarterback, but neither was truly effective in the monsoon like conditions. Barr finished 3-8 for 38 yards and Rund was 3-9 for 34. Brady Clodfelder continued to show that he could be a star in the making, as the sophomore had three catches for 48 yards, including a highlight reel grab inside the Rider ten yard-line as he was being interfered with, to give the Devils their best field position of the night.
Defensively, Elijah Kiesel was a machine, turning in seven solos and four assists, including two and a half tackles for loss. Zimmerman was clutch as well, coming up with four solos and four assists. The Blue Devils return to action for their regular season finale on October 22 with a 7:00 p.m. road contest at ALAH. The game sets up to where the winner could move on to the playoffs and the loser could stay home, although with five wins, the Devils are playoff eligible.