What we learned: 4 takeaways from Week 6 high school football around Peoria
Playoff talk, a super-size Peoria High offensive line and Pekin holding firm on the Mid-Illini Conference standings.
These storylines and more make up our top takeaways from high school football in Week 6 around the Peoria area:
Playoffs?! We're talking about playoffs?
Let's talk about the playoffs.
In three weeks, the Illinois High School Association playoff pairings will be released. Week 6 is the earliest teams can start clinching spots with five Peoria-area teams doing just that.
Pekin, Macomb, Eureka and Princeton all moved to 6-0 with victories on Friday night. Peoria High clinched its berth on Thursday. St. Bede (5-0) gets a shot to punch its playoff ticket at 1 p.m. Saturday against Bureau Valley. Five-win teams like Annawan/Wethersfield are now playoff eligible.
Just 256 spots — 32 teams in each of the eight classes — are available for the 2022 playoffs.
The Peoria High offensive line is BIG
Peoria High has a massive offensive line, on display again Thursday as it helped the team roll up 575 yards of offense, including 405 in the first half alone in a 66-12 victory over Richwoods.
The Lions starting five-man O-line looks like this: left tackle Elijah Love (6-foot-6, 250); left guard JaQuarius Green (6-4, 389); center Dominic Bautista (6-5, 310); right guard Matheno Fuller (6-4, 318), right tackle AJ Roscoe (6-4, 309).
As if that's not enough, the also roll with fullback Landon Newby-Holesome (6-0, 235) and tight end Deuce Thornton (6-3, 255).
High school football Week 6:Scores around the Peoria area
"They have some 300-pounders up front who just don't go one or two steps, they keep going at you, very hard to play against," Richwoods coach James Ulrich said. "It might be the biggest line in the state."
Peoria High coach Tim Thornton agrees.
"Very well could be," he said. "We've never had a line this huge. Even in our state championship season (2016) our line averaged 288 pounds."
Pekin keeps winning
Man, it must be fun to be a Pekin fan right now.
Memorial Stadium was packed to the brim as Metamora came to town for a key Mid-Illini Conference game. The Dragons, who are ranked No. 5 among statewide Class 7A teams, didn't blink, rolling to a 55-13 victory.
Tanner Sprecher rushed for two touchdowns — one from 80 yards out — along with Kanye Tyler and Scotty Jordan each adding a TD for a 28-6 halftime lead. This victory puts Pekin (6-0, 4-0) in the driver's seat to win its second league title in four seasons.
Pekin's final three games include games with Canton, Limestone and East Peoria.
Route 9 rout for Dee-Mack
A bye week must have done Deer Creek-Mackinaw some good.
The Chiefs cruised to a 46-0 victory over Route 9 and Heart of Illinois Conference rival Tremont on Friday night. Dee-Mack didn't play last week, taking a forfeit victory after league foe Fisher didn't field a varsity team this year.
Winning out in the final three weeks would result in Dee-Mack (2-4) becoming playoff eligible.
Running back Lucas Blumeyer was the workhorse for the Chiefs on Friday, rushing for 149 yards and three TDs. He scored a 13-yard and 28-yard TDs in the second quarter, then capped his night with a six-yard score in the third.
Adam Duvall is a Journal Star sports reporter. Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @AdamDuvall.