The Peoria area's top performances from Week 9 of the high school football season

Adam Duvall
Journal Star

Each week, the Journal Star will take a look at the top-performing teams and players from Friday night games across the Peoria area.

Players from Washington and Macomb lead our performers for Week 9:

Garrett Cox and the Washington defense

The defensive lineman not only had 1.5 sacks to help the Panthers shut out Morton 7-0, but the senior filled in at punter and helped keep the Morton offense in poor field position all night — and helped lift Washington (6-3, 6-1) to second place in the Mid-Illini Conference. Cox averaged 33.5 yards on four punts and added an extra point as he took over kicking duties from Mitch Coughlon, who was playing in a regional championship soccer game. Washington has allowed seven or fewer points in each game of during its five-game win streak.

High school football Week 9:Scores around the Peoria area

Scotty Jordan, Pekin

The quarterback was 5-for-5 passing for 106 yards — including a 63-yard TD to Bo Benassi — helping Pekin clinch the outright Mid-Illini Conference title with a 50-6 win over East Peoria. Jordan played only the first half, as did running back Kanye Tyler, who finished with 96 rushing yards and three TDs.

Kaden Hartnett and Kameron Davis, Metamora

The Metamora backfield duo combined for 207 rushing yards and five TDs in a 38-6 win over Dunlap. Hartnett, the senior QB, scored two TDs, while rushing for 111 yards. Davis found the end zone three times as he carried it 19 times for 96 yards. Metamora went for 277 rushing yards with Hartnett throwing for 69 yards.

Eureka defense

The Hornets got back to their winning ways, pitching a 21-0 shutout to keep Deer Creek-Mackinaw from securing its fifth win and playoff eligibility. Mason Boles had a rushing TD and a 79-yard fumble return for a touchdown to spur Eureka (7-2, 4-1), which had lost two games in a row. The Hornets improved their Class 3A playoff seed with a fifth shutout of the season — and the eighth time this season they had allowed seven points or fewer.

Peoria High's Isaiah Walker gets a grip on Peoria Notre Dame running back Elisha Gilbert in the first half Friday, Oct. 21, 2022 at Peoria Stadium. The Lions defeated the Irish 48-7.

Peoria High defense

After giving up 30 points last week to Normal West, the Lions settled right in at Peoria Stadium for a solid defensive effort. Peoria High allowed seven points in its 48-7 victory over the Irish. The Lions (8-1), ranked No. 7 among Class 5A schools, are giving up 16.4 points a game including a Week 7 shutout against Bloomington.

More:Watch out: The high-scoring Peoria High football team can play a little defense, too

Jack Duncan, Macomb

The quarterback and Western Illinois baseball commit was 19-for-27 with 264 yards and three touchdowns to lead the Bombers past Illini West 32-0 and secure their first unbeaten regular season since 1989. J.T. Jeter caught eight passes for 132 yards to lead Macomb (9-0), ranked No. 9 statewide in Class 4A.

Background:Macomb Bombers changed culture with off season work ethic, now

Dax Gentes, El Paso-Gridley

The running back scored the go-ahead touchdown and added an interception to help ice the game as El Paso-Gridley rallied to its first-ever win over Downs Tri-Valley, 30-22. Tri-Valley led 22-13 in the third quarter before EP-G scored 17 unanswered. Illinois commit Declan Duley hit a 52-yard field goal to start the comeback. Kamren Schumacher intercepted a pass to set up Gentes' go-ahead score early in the fourth quarter. Gentes returned the favor minutes later with an interception to the Tri-Valley 1, where Schumacher scored his second TD. EP-G (7-2, 4-1) finished with the same record as Tri-Valley and Eureka atop the Heart of Illinois Conference - Large Division.

More football coverage:What you need to know ahead of the IHSA football playoffs selections for 2022

Layne Durst, Elmwood/Brimfield

Durst helped the Trojans lock up their sixth win, rushing for 189 yards and four TDs in a 58-12 victory over Havana. His backfield mate, Aiden Frail, added 126 yards on 13 carries with a pair of scores. Elmwood/Brimfield finishes the regular season at 6-3 and makes its 17th postseason trip since 2003.