Last Friday night the Tigers hit the road to face an Illinois class 3A top ranked team in Wilmington. The Wildcats entered the home game at 5-0 and the Tigers at 1-4. When both teams left the field, the Wildcats remained perfect and Herscher’s little glimmer of playoff hope was diminished.
The Tigers received the opening kickoff and made short work of the Wildcat defense on the first drive. On just the fourth play of the game, junior Blake Holm connected on an out route to freshman Clay Schultz who beat two Wilmington defenders to the sideline and won the footrace to the end zone. The Tigers were looking ready for the tough opposition in the first few minutes, but then the Wildcat offense took over.
Over the next three and a half quarters, the dominant Wilmington offense piled on forty-nine points, and the defense held the Tigers scoreless after the first quarter touchdown. The Tigers would gain slight momentum on a couple of drives, but often ended up punting. On one of the many punts the Tigers were sent out to execute, junior punter Logan Lunsford took the snap, tucked the ball away, and ran for the sticks along the Herscher sideline. The Tigers seemed to be gaining more excitement until the yellow flag was spotted on the grass. The Tigers had too many men in the backfield, and the play was called back.
The Tigers remained off the scoreboard for the remainder of the night and ended down 42 points to the 3A powerhouse. Now that playoff hopes have been smothered, the Tigers can only play for their own pride. They have three winnable games remaining, including senior night this week against Streator. With the Bulldogs being an aerial team, the Tigers will have many opportunities for turnovers in the backfield and in the secondary as they look to walk away with a home win in week seven.