The Commercial-News, Danville, IL

November 1, 2013

Storm to face similar team in Knights

BY MARVIN HOLMAN
sports@dancomnews.com

---- — SIDELL — Traditionally in playoff action, teams have to search far and wide for tapes on its opponents.

For the Salt Fork Storm, it will not have a problem getting tape on Arthur-Lovington for Saturday’s Class 1A playoff game at Jamaica High School.

The Knights, a part of the Little Okaw Valley Conference, have faced Oakwood/Armstrong-Potomac, Hoopeston Area and Bismarck-Henning, who they lost to last week.

“It is different from what usually happens,” Slat Fork coach Brian Plotner said. “We got tehir game with Bismarck and they played very well.”

What Plotner saw in the tapes was a team that looked real familiar.

“They are a team that useas a lot of speed like we do,” Plotner said. “They have a couple of kids on the line who are 280 pounds but for the most part, they have plaers weighing 220 or less and that is what we have as well.

“They have a quarterback that is close to throwing for 1,000 yards and running for 1,000 yards and they are a team that runs the option very well.”

Plotner also took a look at the numbers and saw yet another thing the Storm and Knights are similar to.

“We have given up the same number of points (125) on defense while there is a difference of three points (Salt Fork’s 343 to A-L’s 340) on offense,” Plotner said. “So this shows how close the matchup will be with these two teams.

They have a very good defense with some good defensive ends and a middle linebacker who is very good. They also have some good safetys, so they can hold up a passing game.”

One advantage that Plotner believes that can be the key will be the fans at Jamaica High School. The Storm have done well when they host home games to start the playoffs.

“It is a goal that we always want to see and against a team like this, it could make a difference because we would not have to change our routine to get ready,” Plotner said. “It is always good for the kids and it is great for the community to come out and support them.”

With these two teams, who have only lost to undefeated teams in the Blue Devils and Cerro Gordo, Plotner says this will be an early game to watch in the playoffs.

“If you go to the playoffs, you expect to play games like this when a 8-1 team plays a 7-2 team,” Plotner said. “This might be one of the most anticipated game of the first week and even in this program’s history.”

The game will start at 1 p.m.

IHSA Class 1A Playoffs Arthur-Lovington/Atwood-Hammond Knights vs. Salt Fork Storm When -- 1 p.m., Saturday Where -- Jamaica High School Records -- Arthur-Lovington 7-2 overall; Salt Fork 8-1 overall. Rankings -- Salt Fork is No. 8 in the final Associated Press Class 1A Poll, Arthur-Lovington is unrated, but did receive votes. On the air -- WRHK-FM 94.9 Last meeting -- first-ever meeting Last week's results -- Arthur-Lovington lost to Bismarck-Henning 20-14; Salt Fork defeated Oakwood/Armstrong-Potomac 39-6. Next week's game -- winner advances to a second-round contest against the winner of the game between Maroa-Forsyth and Tuscola. Statistical leaders Rushing -- Arthur-Lovington: Tyler Schuring 66 carries, 805 yards, 11 touchdowns; Jordan Feagin 38-467, 6 TDs. Salt Fork: Cole Taylor 101 carries, 769 yards, 15 touchdowns; Taylor Kirby 56-728, 8 TDs. Passing -- Arthur-Lovington: Schuring 59 completions, 129 attempts, 1 interception, 970 yards, 15 touchdowns. Salt Fork: Jacob Hughes 55 completions, 102 attempts, 5 interceptions, 909 yards, 10 touchdowns. Receiving -- Arthur-Lovington: Feagin 18 receptions, 364 yards, 7 touchdowns; Curtis Plank 16-178, 5 TDs; Mitchell Helton 12-229, 2 TDs, Cody Sebens 8-168, 2 TDs. Salt Fork: Luke Maddox 20 receptions, 249 yards, 2 touchdowns; Nick Hedges 18-241, 2 TDs; Garrett McFadden 16-341, 4 TDs. Tackles -- Arthur-Lovington: Logan West 54 solo, 52 assists, 106 total; Feagin 47-40 -- 87; Steven Wright 26-39 -- 65; Helton 27-29 -- 56; Schuring 22-19 -- 41. Salt Fork: Steven Meade 51 solo, 57 assists, 108 total; Taylor 42-63 -- 105; Tyler Johnson 37-34 -- 71; McFadden 26-29 -- 55; Kirby 23-24 -- 47.