Stadium drama, Mid-Illini missteps: What we learned about Peoria-area football in Week 1

Adam Duvall
Journal Star

High school football in the Peoria area returned on Friday with some shocks and surprises.

Here are some takeaways from Week 1, led by the postponement and eventual cancelation of one of the area's most anticipated games.

Peoria High wins in forfeit over Metamora

A highly anticipated meeting between Peoria High and Metamora was declared a forfeit.

The Class 5A sixth-ranked Lions led 34-16 with 8:05 to play in the second quarter when play was stopped. A fight in the crowd and ensuing loud noises caused panic that led to postponement of the game.

Metamora administration released a statement late Friday night, saying in part, "The MTHS administration and coaching staff has decided to not resume the game." The Redbirds are scheduled to host LaSalle-Peru next Friday.

Peoria High's offense was potent as usual, rolling up 28 points in the first quarter and 340 total yards for the game. Malachi Washington rushed for 235 yards on nine carries and three touchdowns.

Lions quarterback Tino Gist threw a 64-yard TD to Ricky Hearn as part of a 3-for-5 night with 83 yards.

Peoria High football players show some frustration and anger after a large fight interrupted their season-opening football game against Metamora on Friday, Aug. 26, 2022 at Peoria Stadium.

All the results:Scores from around the Peoria area in Week 1

Mid-Illini has a rough Friday night

The Mid-Illini Conference didn't fare too well in opening week.

Besides Metamora's forfeit, five other members of the 41-year-old league lost. Washington saw Highland come into Babcook Field and score 54 points. Morton went to Mahomet-Seymour in a rematch of last season's Class 5A quarterfinal and came away with a 51-14 loss.

Other Week 1 losses included East Peoria getting shutout by Streator, 52-0, Limestone losing to Mt. Zion, 48-7 and Canton falling to Eureka, 25-7.

Pekin and Dunlap, however, carried the conference banner. Both teams grabbed convincing victories including a 56-point output by the Dragons. Dunlap beat Galesburg, 27-13.

Metamora head football coach Jared Grebner chats with an official in the first half Friday, Aug. 26, 2022 at Peoria Stadium.

More:Preseason hype doesn't slow Pekin in season-opening romp over Rock Island

Eureka, Tremont running backs lead the way

Eureka's Mason Boles and Ty Fuller of Tremont will be two running backs to keep an eye on this season.

Boles, who rushed for 117 yards on 23 carries, scored two touchdowns as Eureka beat Canton, 25-7 in this nonconference meeting. The 5-foot-11, 180-pound junior powered in two 3-yard scores as part of a solid ground attack that included QB Jake Morin adding a rushing score before halftime.

Fuller made the most of 15 carries as he ran for 114 yards as Tremont went on the road and comes home with a 14-8 win over Niantic Sangamon Valley. He scored a 14-yard TD as the Turks held on for the win.

Peoria County losses

Farmington, Illinois Valley Central and Princeville each suffered a Week 1 defeat.

The three Peoria County schools all went on the road and gave up at least 20 points. Coming off its Class 2A quarterfinal appearance, the Farmers lost to Aledo Mercer County, 24-8 — Farmington's first series defeat since 2015.

IVC got within eight points twice, but faltered to Paxton-Buckley-Loda, 28-20. The Grey Ghosts welcome Monticello next week for a meeting of two Illini Prairie Conference teams that lost their season openers.

Knoxville scored 20 seconds into the game and never looked back, beating Princeville, 54-20. The Princes tied it at 7-7 before Knoxville ran off the next 28 points including TDs by Nolan McClay, Jaxin Johnson, Sawyer Tuckey and Oscar Young.