By Tony Hooker
The Blue Devils used two third quarter fumble returns for touchdowns to extend a closer lead than expected as Villa Grove defeated Argenta Oreana 42–0 on Sept. 23. Quarterback, Layne Rund, who had 12 carries for 37 yards rushing, opened the scoring in the second quarter with a one-yard touchdown plunge. Rund, who also completed 9 of 18 passes for 151 yards and two touchdowns, found Luke Zimmerman from his halfback spot for a 19-yard scoring strike and then ran in a two-point conversion to give the Devils a 14–0 lead at the half that was closer than many expected. Gunner Cline then scored on a 9-yard scamper to open the third quarter and give Villa Grove a 20–0 lead, and a minute later, Robert Fancher scooped and scored on an AO fumble from 34 yards out. Rund once again chugged in with the two-point conversion and with 7:39 left in the third, the score stood at 28–0. The Blue Devils then iced the game away by scoring 2 touchdowns in the final minute of the third. First, Rund found Zimmerman, who finished with five catches for 56 yards and two touchdowns with 59 seconds remaining in the stanza. Parker Stevens then ran in the 2-point conversion to set the margin at 36–0. Sophomore Nolan Morse made his presence felt on special teams, picking up a dropped kickoff and scooting 26 yards to pay dirt with 53 seconds left. The two-point conversion failed, leaving the final score at 42–0.
Freshman Ella Schweighart fired a 105 to finish fourth at the LPC conference meet, held at Tri-City CC on Sept. 22. Maci Clodfelder backed her teammate with a 107 to earn sixth place. Addie Wilson shot 111 and Logan Lillard fired a 116 as the Blue Devils earned second place as a team.
Gavin Kiser shot a 92 to finish seventh at the Lincoln Prairie Conference meet at Tri-City. Jake Gilles backed his mate with a 102. Jackson Smith fired a 111 and Jesse Bessent shot a 116 to round out team scoring for Villa Grove.
Mauled by Lions
On Sept. 20, the Blue Devils fell in straight sets, 11-25, 14-25 to Decatur LSA, the number 29 team in 1A, according to MaxPreps. Logan Lillard had seven kills and Kayci Leath added four, while Kayln Cordes passed out 10 assists.
Bella Crafton hammered down 16 kills to lead Villa Grove to a 25-20, 23-25, 25-13 victory over Arcola on Sept. 22. Logan Lillard had 11 kills and three blocks and Kayln Cordes dished out 26 assists.
Junior High Cross Country
The Villa Grove Junior Harriers traveled to St. Joseph on Saturday, Sept. 25, for the prestigious SJO invitational meet.
For the girl’s squad, Julie Swigart finished in 18:19.7 and fifth/ sixth grade teammate Teagan Henderson ran the two-mile circuit in 20:17.9.
The boys were led by 16th place finisher Logan Hauersperger, who completed in 12:46.3. Owen Kneer ran a solid 13:56.1, Robert Mitsdarfer completed his circuit in 14:26.8 and Cole Cardiff finished in 14:25.6. Bailey Keith finished in 16:04.5, Ethan Vail 16:41.3 and Carter Leith 17:10.4. Miles Swigart ran right behind him, finishing in 17:11.5, and Oliver Oberg ran an 18:11.6 two mile. Thomas Linstead ran an 18:33.5, and Wyatt Kamerer finished in 19:43.9.