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HS Football Week 7: Playoff-hungry Southwestern survives scare against North Mac

Carlinville, Staunton and Gillespie go cold on chilly nights

Enquirer Democrat Reporter

Logan Keith completed a rushing touchdown hat trick on a five-yard score with three minutes remaining and the Southwestern Piasa Birds avoided what would of been a costly defeat against the one-win North Mac Panthers on a thrilling night in Piasa Oct. 6.

Southwestern pushed its record to 4-3 with a 20-19 trimph and pulled to within one victory of playoff eligibility.

Quarterback Blake Rimbey contributed 240 total yards for the Birds, who trailed 13-7 at the half. Rimbey converted on nine of 17 pass attempts for 146 yards through the air and gained his additional 94 yards on 11 keepers.

Ian Brantley reeled in a pair of throws from Rimbey that amounted to major gains of 30-plus yards apiece. Rocky Darr made three catches for 40 yards. In addition to his three clutch carries to the end zone, Keith also made a 32-yard catch.

Defensively, Owen Gray picked up two sacks against North Mac quarterback Dane Vance, who went 14 for 20 on the evening with 171 yards and a touchdown pass to Nick Lancaster in defeat.

Southwestern now has some breathing room with a road contest at state-ranked Greenville on deck for Fri., Oct. 13. If the Birds can’t pull the upset, they will have to beat Hillsboro in a ‘do or die’ battle on Senior Night the following weekend.

Other action

In other action, Carlinville, Staunton and Gillespie felt autumn chills on a cold Oct. 6 evening.
Carlinville and Staunton struggled at home while Gillespie’s woes continued on the road.

Carlinville saw a three-game winning streak end with a 41-7 loss against Greenville. The Cavaliers are 4-3 and will take another shot at playoff eligibility at Hillsboro this Friday.

Staunton’s postseason pursuit ended with a 37-0 loss to Litchfield. The 2-5 Bulldogs will face North Mac (1-6) at Virden this weekend.

Gillespie suffered its 15th consecutive defeat overall and seventh in 2023 as the winless Miners fell to Pana, 43-9. Gillespie returns to Don “Duke” Dobrino Field for Senior Night against Vandalia Friday evening.

Southwestern 20, North Mac 19
Litchfield 37, Staunton 0
Greenville 41, Carlinville 7
Pana 43, Gillespie 9
Vandalia 27, Hillsboro 3

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

x – Greenville (7-0)
x – Pana (5-2)
x – Vandalia (5-2)
Carlinville (4-3)
Southwestern (4-3)
Litchfield (4-3)
Hillsboro (3-4)
e – Staunton (2-5)
e – North Mac (1-6)
e – Gillespie (0-7)

x = clinched playoff berth
e = eliminated from playoff contention