Aug. 31—WESTVILLE — The last time the Bismarck-Henning/Rossvile-Alvin football team faced Westville, it was as close as it got.
The Blue Devils won that IHSA Class 2A playoff game 43-35 at home last season in a physical matchup.
"They beat the heck out of us," BHRA head coach Mark Dodd said. "We did some things in the last game with Karson Stevenson passing for 400 yards and Ayden Ingram going wild with every catch he made, but if we didn't do that, we would not have won because they physically dominated us. We couldn't stop them on the ground and they couldn't stop us in the air. It was a tense night for sure."
"We were fortunate last year to get a second chance at them, but it is very difficult to match their team speed in practice," Westville coach Guy Goodlove said. "In the first game, it wasn't much of a game, but in the second, we played better and had an opportunity."
For Friday's game at Westville, the Tigers have another opportunity, but Goodlove said the Blue Devils' speed will be a problem — along with new players to deal with.
"It gets to the point at Bismarck where you can't wait for these kids from the season before to graduate because they can find someone else," Goodlove said. "They had no problem finding capable replacements. I think this is the quickest team they have ever had and they have 11 players on the field that can move and get to wherever they need to go in a hurry."
In BHRA's first week win over Clifton Central, Enrique Rangel and Logan Hughes showed flashes of what they could do for the season.
"They played behind guys that were talented and successful, so it is one of those things where you earn your stripes," Dodd said. "Both Enrique Rangel and Logan Hughes were defensive players for the last two years and now it is their turn. "
"Just when you are happy that Hackman graduated, here's comes Hughes and Rangel," Goodlove said. "They touch the ball and they score and the (Evan) Parish kid is a whale of a linebacker and he can be explosive back there as well. They are going to be a handful for any team because there are so many playmakers that can take it to the house at anytime. They have weapons on the sideline waiting to get in."
Also, both teams have good passing combos with Westville having Drew Wichtowski and Trent McMasters and BHRA having Karson Stevenson and Ayden Ingram.
"The No. 1 concern is Wichtowski," Dodd said. "He's a big strong kid who runs downhill and he's given us a lot of problems since he's been a starter and that worries us the most and the McMasters kid is a problem on the outside as well. So they do have some weapons.
"They have one of the best receivers I have seen in the Ingram kid. He gives them the ability to score on any play," Goodlove said. "Whether it is on kick return or split out at wide receiver, he's just a headache for me and the rest of the team because you have to account for him when he's on the field. Stevenson delivers an accurate ball and very rarely he misses a pass, so both of them are very impressive."
With the game being the home opener at Westville, Dodd and the Blue Devils are excited about the challenge.
"It's going to be an event and that is what makes high school football fun," Dodd said. "Our kids know their kids and that is what rivalries are all about. We have been fortunate to coming up on the winning end the last few years, but in the times we haven't won the conference, Westville did, so we understand they know how important the game is as well."
"We can talk about it and discuss it. We have a game plan and we have been preparing for them," Goodlove said. "We know they are the favorites and the Vermilion Valley Conference title runs through Bismarck. It showed last week and they were very impressive.
The game will start at 7 p.m. and it will be broadcast on WHRK-FM 95.9
Georgetown-Ridge Farm/Chrisman at Oakwood
Time — 7 p.m. Friday
Records — Georgetown-Ridge Farm/Chrisman 0-1 overall, 0-1 in Vermilion Valley Conference. Oakwood 0-1 overall, 0-1 in Vermilion Valley Conference
Radio — WITY-AM 980 and WITY-FM 99.5
Summary — Both teams had tough losses in the first week and will battle to avoid going 0-2. The Comets fell early but fought back in their 28-21 loss to Momence, while Rylan Mosier had 196 yards for the Buffaloes in a loss to Watseka.
Salt Fork at Hoopeston Area/Armstrong-Potomac
Time — 7 p.m. Friday
Records — Salt Fork 0-1 overall, 0-1 in Vermilion Valley Conference. Hoopeston Area/Armstrong-Potomac 1-0 overall, 1-0 in Vermilion Valley Conference.
Summary — The Storm hit the road after a close loss to Westville, while the Cornjerkers have their home opener after a close win over Iroquois West in the first game for new coach Carrick MacDonald. MacDonald would like to continue the Cornjerkers' success against the Storm at home as HAAP beat Salt Fork 22-20 in 2021.
Attica at Seeger
Time — 7 p.m. (Eastern Time) Friday
Records — Attica 0-2 overall, Seeger 1-1 overall
Radio — WKZS-FM 103.1
Summary — The Patriots are coming off their first win of the season against Benton Central last week and will try to start Wabash River Conference play with a win against the Red Ramblers. Attica, under new coach Tyler Allen, will try to avoid a 20th straight loss.
Riverton Parke at Fountain Central
Time — 7 p.m. (Eastern Time) Friday
Records — Riverton Parke 1-1 overall, Fountain Central 1-1 overall
Summary — Both teams had ups and downs in the first two weeks entering WRC play. The Mustangs rolled to a win over Crawfordsville and will host the Panthers, who are coming off a 62-0 loss to Carroll (Flora). Fountain Central want to get revenge from last year's 26-14 loss to the Panthers.
Schlarman Academy at South Fork
Time — 6 p.m. Saturday
Records — Schlarman 1-0 overall, South Fork 1-0 overall
Summary — After an impressive win 52-22 win over Peoria Quest Academy, the Hilltoppers will look for another big win against the Ponies. South Fork — a member of the 8-Man South Conference — is coming off a big win of its own in a 58-12 victory over Metro East Lutheran.