We have reached the final week of the high school football regular season in Illinois. In a season that seemed to have started two weeks ago, some teams will play their final games of the 2022 season tonight. One of those teams could be the Flora Wolves, as they come into Carmi-White County with a 4-4 record, needing a win to become playoff eligible.
It has been an up and down season for the Flora Wolves. They started the season with two dominant wins over CZR (47-14) and Edwards County (42-3) and then a nail-biting win at home against Eldorado (20-16). But since then, things have been tough for the Wolves. Flora lost by ten on the road at Fairfield (24-14), lost big on the road at Johnston City (43-15), and then fell at home to Hamilton County (15-13). They picked up a week 7 win at Vienna-Goreville (45-14) to improve their record to 4-3, but with a week 8 loss at Sesser-Valier (28-12), the Wolves find themselves in desperation mode.
Much like a majority of teams in the Black Diamond Conference, Flora will hand the ball off to three different players. Beau Propes has 573 rushing yards on 92 carries and 7 touchdowns. John McGee has 58 carries for 414 yards and 5 touchdowns. Malachi Tolliver has carried the ball 92 times for 645 yards and 9 touchdowns. Tolliver is also the quarterback for a Flora team that likes to spread the ball. He has thrown it 86 times this season for 639 yards, 4 touchdowns and 1 interception.
From an X’s and O’s standpoint, this team is very similar to what the Bulldogs saw just 2 weeks ago in the Eldorado Eagles. Flora will use Tolliver in a very similar way that the Eagles used Parker Price. For the most part, the Bulldogs were able to shut out Eldorado’s offense, outside of one long touchdown run, and I expect the same to happen tonight.
Calpreps.com predicts that Carmi-White County will win 42-12.
As far as the Bulldogs, this game is a great chance to get their mojo back after a heartbreaking loss last week to Johnston City. CWC is still in a fantastic spot to make a deep playoff run, and finishing the regular season with an 8-1 record will put them in a much better spot than finishing 7-2. Despite the odds being in the Bulldogs’ favor, Carmi still has to come out and play their brand of football in order to get the win.
“They’re senior heavy. If they win, they’re in,” said CWC head coach Kurt Simon. “They played Sesser really well in the second half last week. We have to take care of the ball and out physical them as much as we can.”
Carmi has done pretty well at both of those this season. The Bulldogs have taken the ball away from their opponents 17 times in 2022, while only turning it over 4 times through 8 games.
Fans who attend tonight’s game, or who listen/watch the game at home have a chance to witness CWCHS history. Senior running back, Isaac King is just 65 yards away from breaking the all-time rushing yards record, previously set by Logan Rogers. King has rushed for 1,574 yards this season, he rushed for 1,945 yards last season as a junior (CWCHS single-season record), and he rushed for 512 yards as a sophomore in the 2021 spring season.
Kickoff is set for 7 PM, the Taylor Eye Care pregame show on 97.3 FM WRUL and the WRUL Sports YouTube Channel will begin at 6:45 PM. Fans can also tune in to the WRUL Sports YouTube Channel around 6:30 PM to watch the senior night ceremony.
The IHSA will release the playoff bracket on Saturday during the Playoff Pairings Show which will be aired on WSIL 3 and the NFHS Network at 8 PM.
All time leading rushers in CWCHS History:
- Logan Rogers – 4,098
- Isaac King – 4,034*
- Brandon Pringle – 2,313
- Jeff Haley – 2,167
- Andrew Burnett – 2,135
- Chase Sailer – 2,117
- Troy Deitz – 2,065
- Bart King – 2,007