Predicting every Illinois high school football game in the Peoria area for Week 8

Peoria's Xavier Blake (99) takes down Richwoods' Cory Wysinger in the first half Friday, Aug. 27, 2021 at Richwoods High School. The Lions defeated the Knights 62-27.
Adam Duvall
Journal Star

Week 8 is here and the end of the high school football regular season is very much near.

Teams will be scrambling to get that fifth win and become playoff eligible, better their playoff seed or be looking to finish the season strong heading towards the 2022 season. No matter what a team's outlook, the season is far from over.

Last week, the picks in this space were a perfect 16-0 (1.00) with a 69-25 (.734) season total. Here is a look at all the Week 8 predictions for Peoria-area games:

Big 12

Notre Dame (5-2, 5-1) at Manual (0-7, 0-6), 7 p.m.: The Class 4A tenth-ranked Irish showed their effectiveness in all three phases of the game in Week 7 — a kickoff touchdown from Charlie Dawson, 24 first-half points as well as shutting out Bloomington in the second half. The Rams had 197 total yards last week. Notre Dame 42, Manual 8

Normal West (5-2, 5-1) at Richwoods (1-6, 0-5), 7 p.m.: Richwoods put up a fight against Class 5A sixth-ranked Mahomet-Seymour, rolling up 28 points and 237 total yards. Normal West has won five of its last six games led by Jayden Mangruem, who had two rushing TDs and 187 passing yards. Normal West 34, Richwoods 28

Vote now:Who will be Journal Star high school athlete of the week? Vote now!

Pekin players try to douse their head coach Doug Nutter after the Dragons' 35-28 victory over Metamora on Friday, Oct. 8, 2021 at Malone Field in Metamora.

Mid-Illini

Metamora (5-2, 3-2) at Washington (5-2, 4-1), 7:30 p.m.: This is 40th M-I league regular season meeting between these two rivals. The Redbirds are coming off a stunning loss to Pekin, leading by two TDs in the third quarter. Washington’s defense pitched a shutout with Tyler Richardson having two interceptions, including a pick-6. Metamora 42, Washington 28

East Peoria (0-7, 0-5) at Pekin (5-2, 3-2), 7:30 p.m.: East Peoria put up 20 points for the third time this season last week, totaling 301 total yards led by 216 rushing yards. Pekin kept its hopes alive for the M-I title thanks to a big-time rally for the Dragons, who got 198 yards and three TDs from Tanner Sprecher against Metamora. Pekin 48, East Peoria 12

Limestone (1-6, 1-4) at Morton (5-2, 4-1), 7:30 p.m.: Morton, which received votes in this week’s Class 5A poll, continues to roll, putting up 366 rushing yards last week led by Seth Glatz’s 219 yards and four touchdowns. Limestone looks to bounce back from last week’s four turnover game, but had 208 total yards. Morton 56, Limestone 18

Canton (2-5, 2-3) at Dunlap (4-3, 3-2), 7:30 p.m.: Canton has suffered a pair of shutouts this season but is averaging 28.4 points a game in the five other contests. Graham Glover has been a terror on both sides of the ball, hauling in 188 yards and two TDs as well as two INTs and a pick-six against Limestone last week. Dunlap 41, Canton 14

More:Here are the top 6 takeaways from Week 7 of Peoria high school football

8-man

Peoria Heights (2-5) at Biggsville West Central (5-2), 7 p.m.: Despite Peoria Heights averaging 18.7 games over the last three, the Patriots look to end a three-game skid. When Biggsville West Central puts up points, the Heat will score big, having four games with 40 points or more including two outings with at least 60 points. Biggsville West Central 49, Peoria Heights 18

LeRoy's David Smith (40) tries to get his arms around the legs of Tremont ball carrier Riley Miller in the first half Friday, Sept. 10, 2021 in Tremont. The Turks defeated LeRoy 42-12.

Heart of Illinois

Downs Tri-Valley (7-0, 3-0) at Eureka (5-2, 1-2), 7 p.m.: HOI Large Division co-leader and the Class 2A third-ranked Tri-Valley has played an incredible defense this season, allowing their opponents to score just 6.9 points a game. The Hornets punched their playoff ticket eligibility thanks a big double-OT game by QB Jake Morin. Downs Tri-Valley 21, Eureka 18

Deer Creek-Mackinaw (5-2, 1-2) at Fieldcrest (0-7, 0-3), 7 p.m.: Tyce Albritton and EJ Baez both scored fourth-quarter TDs last week, including Baez’s game-winner as Dee-Mack became playoff eligible for the first since 2017. Fieldcrest is using a three-man QB committee with regular starter Koltin Kearfott (1,037 yards) out. Deer Creek-Mackinaw 49, Fieldcrest 6

Tremont (5-2, 1-2) at El Paso-Gridley (5-2, 3-0), 7 p.m.: EP-G continues to hang its hat on defense, giving up just 79 total points this season and holding six opponents to 16 points or less. Tremont will counter with a strong ground game, rolling up 377 rushing yards and six TDs last week led by Ty Fuller and Shemar Williams. Tremont 20, El Paso-Gridley 14

Top guys:Let's look at the top performances from Week 7 high school football in the Peoria area

Illini Prairie

Pontiac (1-6, 1-6) at Illinois Valley Central (2-5, 2-5), 7 p.m.: IVC has back-to-back wins led again by a balanced offense behind QB Nolin Hulett (296 total yards, 5 TDs) and Nate Dennison (71 receiving yards, 2 TDs). Pontiac is on a four-game losing streak, scoring just 39 points in those contests and 81 total on the season. Illinois Valley Central 42, Pontiac 6

Lincoln Trail

Princeville (3-4, 2-4) at Cambridge (0-7, 0-7), 7 p.m.: Princeville, which lost last week by 11 points to state-ranked Abingdon-Avon, needs this victory to stay alive in their hunt for playoff eligibility and a fourth berth since 2017. Cambridge gives up nearing 50 points a game, including 50-plus points four times. Princeville 56, Cambridge 6

Prairieland

Elmwood/Brimfield (4-3, 3-3) at Lewistown (2-5, 2-4), 7 p.m.: Elmwood, which got a TD from Layne Durst in Week 7, is still looking to become playoff eligible, needing a victory this week. Injuries prevented Lewistown from continuing the second half of its game last week, taking a 44-0 loss to Macomb. Elmwood/Brimfield 42, Lewistown 8

Adam Duvall is a Journal Star sports reporter. Email him at aduvall@pjstar.com. Follow him on Twitter @AdamDuvall.