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HS Football Week 5: Carlinville and Staunton pick up Homecoming victories

The Carlinville High School football team celebrates a 27-14 Homecoming victory over Southwestern Sept. 22. Photo provided.


Enquirer Democrat Reporter

Carlinville and Staunton each earned Homecoming victories during Week 5 of the high school football season.

Both teams knocked off a county rival, with the Cavaliers beating Southwestern and the Bulldogs claiming bragging rights over long-time arch-nemisis Gillespie.

Carlinville 27, Southwestern 14

Carlinville jumped out to a 21-0 lead then halted a late Southwestern rally to move back above .500 for the first time since Week 1.
Southwestern had the football with an opportunity to tie or take the lead twice in the fourth quarter, but Zach Chapman and Triston Thompson turned back the Birds with clutch interceptions to seal a 27-14 CHS victory.

Thompson jumped a Blake Rimbey pass route and returned the football from the Carlinville 28-yard line to the Southwestern 32. On the ensuing drive, Chapman sealed the deal via a 32-yard ‘pick six.’

Chapman started what he finished, with a 14-yard touchdown catch in the first quarter to break a scoreless tie. On defense, he was Carlinville’s anchor, posting nine tackles to go along with his game-changing takeaway.

Weston Kuykendall also made a couple of key defensive plays, blocking a field goal and recovering a fumble.

Rex Reels once again proved himself as one of the South Central Conference’s most efficient passers, completing eight of 13 throws for 84 yards and a pair of touchdowns to Chapman and Noah Convery. So far, through five weeks, Reels has successfully found over 70 percent of his receiving targets while only throwing one interception. He additionally surpassed 100 rushing yards for the season with 50 against the Birds.

Nate Dyer added 75 yards and a touchdown on eight carries while making a game-high 14 tackles. Mason Gilpin contributed 47 yards on 20 rushes.

Rocky Darr ran for a career-best 131 yards on 21 carries for Southwestern. Rimbey completed nine of 23 passes for 100 yards.

Carlinville, which has now won 53 of its past 60 head-to-head battles with Southwestern, is 3-2 on the year.

The Birds, who haven’t beat the Cavaliers since 1999, are on a three-game slide after starting the season 2-0.

Carlinville will look to spoil Homecoming festivities in Virden while, at the same time, eliminating North Mac from playoff contention Fri., Sept. 29. The Panthers enter Week 6 at 1-4 following a 59-34 loss against Vandalia.

Southwestern is preparing for its Homecoming game versus Staunton. Both are 2-3 on the season as they battle for key positioning in the Illinois High School Association postseason hunt.

Staunton 38, Gillespie 13

On a night in which they honored longtime coach Larry Caldieraro Jr., the Staunton Bulldogs defeated the Gillespie Miners, 38-13, Sept. 22.

Caldieraro, also known as ‘Coach Cal,’ had passed away at age 57 four days prior.

The Bulldogs led 24-10 at halftime and 31-10 through three quarters while on their way to a dominant Homecoming victory.

Staunton extended Gillespie’s losing streak to 13 games, dating back to 2022.

With members of the 1964 GHS football team looking on, the winless Miners will host Litchfield on Homecoming night Fri., Sept. 29.

Gillespie’s last victory came against Litchfield, 24-18, at Don “Duke” Dobrino Field last season.

Carlinville 27, Southwestern 14
Staunton 38, Gillespie 13
Vandalia 59, North Mac 34
Litchfield 9, Hillsboro 7
Greenville 20, Pana 6

Carlinville @ North Mac
Staunton @ Southwestern
Litchfield @ Gillespie
Pana @ Hillsboro
Vandalia @ Greenville

x-Greenville (5-0)
Vandalia (4-1)
Pana (4-1)
Carlinville (3-2)
Southwestern (2-3)
Litchfield (2-3)
Staunton (2-3)
Hillsboro (2-3)
North Mac (1-4)
e-Gillespie (0-5)

x = clinched playoffs
e = eliminated from playoff contention