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Joyce Jefferson
Joyce Jefferson
7:00pm - Midnight

Gridiron Preview – Plenty To Play For

With a 44-7 win over Edwards County in Week 7, the Carmi-White County Bulldogs improved to 6-1 and clinched their 3rd consecutive playoff berth and 18th under head coach Kurt Simon. With a ticket to the big dance already punched, it is now time for Carmi to focus on getting the best seed possible in this year’s playoffs.The difference between finishing 8-1, 7-2 and 6-3 in southern Illinois is vital. If the Bulldogs win out, they would finish with an 8-1 record and give themselves the best opportunity to make a deep playoff run. However, as we saw last year, finishing with a 7-2 or 6-3 record can match the Bulldogs up with a very talented team from central Illinois with a similar record, which hasn’t worked in Carmi’s favor in previous years. 

Not only is Carmi playing for the best possible playoff seed, but Carmi is still in the running for the Black Diamond Conference championship. As of now, the Bulldogs sit in 3rd place in the conference behind Sesser-Valier and Johnston City, who are both tied for 1st Place with 7-0 records. Seseser-Valier and Johnston City square off this weekend. Here are the scenarios for the final two weeks of the regular season, and how each team can win at least a share of the conference title. 

1. Defeat JC (at least a share) & Flora (outright)
2. Defeat Flora, JC lose to CWC

Johnston City:
1. Defeat SV & CWC
2. Defeat CWC, SV lose to Flora

Carmi-White County:
1. Defeat Eld & JC, JC defeat SV
2. Defeat Eld & JC, Flora defeat SV

Enough with scenarios, let’s look at Carmi’s Week 8 opponent, the Eldorado Eagles. 

Eldorado comes into Friday’s game on a 6-game losing streak. They haven’t won since they defeated Edwards County 12-7 in Week 1. This season marks the third straight losing campaign for Joe Clark and company, which just doesn’t seem right. Eldorado was a powerhouse in the mid 2010s with the likes of Payton Price, Jacob Traxler, Trey Vessel and others that led the Eagles to back-to-back conference titles in 2015 and 2016. Granted, they have since changed head coaches with Brandon Hampton leaving for Paris, Texas prior to the 2017 season and Clark manning the ship ever since.

It’s no secret that Eldoardo just hasn’t produced those stand-out, collegiate-type athletes in the past half decade. Their best athlete in that span, Parker Price (Payton’s younger brother), graduated in May and is currently playing baseball at Kaskaskia College. With Price gone, Clark has had to replace him, and that has been very hard to do. Senior Colton Patrick has filled the team’s role as the quarterback who will both run and throw. Patrick is Eldorado’s leading rusher with 366 yards and 2 touchdowns. Through the air, he has thrown it 44 times for 271 yards and 2 touchdowns to go with 5 interceptions. Rushing wise, junior Jake Phelps has carried it 54 times for 222 yards and 2 touchdowns. Senior Ashton Robinson leads the team in touchdown runs with 5 to go along with 202 yards. Maddex Rash will be the Eagles’ number 3 runner, he’s got one touchdown run on 34 carries with 141 yards. As a team, Eldorado is 2nd-to-last in the BDC in terms of total offensive yards with just 1,373. The Eagles fell to Sesser-Valier 46-6 last Friday.

As far as the Bulldogs, the injury bug took a pretty big bite once again. Junior offensive and defensive lineman Eli Bryant will miss the rest of the season with a knee injury that he suffered in Week 6 against CZR. Although Bryant is now out, the Bulldogs were able to get Konner Buchanan back last week after he missed 3 games with a hand injury. Dakota Southerd will now be the starting right tackle moving forward. 

One thing both teams will have to deal with on Friday will be the elements, or at least we hope they don’t have to. Forecasters are calling for a cold, rainy night in southern Illinois throughout Friday evening. 

“We have to take care of the ball,” said CWC head coach Kurt Simon. “Playing in those elements, hanging on to the football and taking snaps cleanly will be key, no matter who you’re playing.” predicts that the Bulldogs will win 41-6.

Fans that can’t make the road trip can watch from the comfort of their heated homes on the WRUL Sports YouTube Channel and they can listen on 97.3 FM WRUL.


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