With much anticipation for this rivalry game at Endres Field in Peoria Friday night, the fans of Peoria Notre Dame and Richwoods were loud and boisterous as they awaited the kickoff. The players were noticeably spirited as well. Once the action started, the sound of the cracking pads demonstrated these teams meant business tonight. Notre Dame was unable to move on the opening possession and punted to the Knights. On their third play, Jeremye Johnson went on a 36 yard scamper down the sideline to the Irish 13. Kendrick Foster bulled his way in from the one to give Richwoods an early 7-0 lead. The Irish struck back, behind a deep pass from Dominick Comfort to Antoine Morris, who was chased down at the Knights’ five yard line. Unable to advance from there, a field goal drew the Irish within 7-3. In the second quarter, Johnson again ran wild down the sideline for 39 yards to the Notre Dame 12. Foster went in from the two this time and the score was 14-3 in favor of Richwoods. Undaunted, Notre Dame went on a nice drive and after converting a fourth down at the Knights five yard line, scored to make it 14-9 after a missed two point conversion attempt with 49 seconds left in the first half. After the ensuing kick, Notre Dame defender Demarco Washington deflected a pitch out and scooped up the ball to take it in for a 20 yard touchdown and, all of a sudden, the Irish were in the lead at half, 17-14.
The second half was dominated by Richwoods as they perhaps came of age. The offensive ground attack could not be stopped and the defense was stifling, spending much of the time in the Irish backfield. An 80 yard touchdown drive spearheaded by Kendrick Foster and Michael McElrath’s bursts up the middle resulted in a five yard touchdown run by McElrath and a 21-17 lead for the Knights with 4:19 left in the third quarter. Notre Dame mounted a drive, but on a key 4th and 12 pass deep in Knights territory, Knights defensive back Mo Washburn knocked down the ball to avert a score. Foster and McElrath then led a another long scoring drive and it was 27-17 at the mid point of the final quarter after the Foster touchdown. He added his fourth score of the night minutes later to set the final tally.
In another key Mid State Conference game, Quincy Notre Dame rallied late for the second week in a row to defeat Peoria Central, 33-29. The Raiders, down 29-26 with 3:58 left, took the ball from their 48 yard line and scored with :54 on the clock. A long run by star Nick Weiman was key. Central had a a last gasp chance, but was intercepted deep in QND territory. (www.wgem.com).