No favors for Tigers
Princeton sure wasn't dealt any favors by the schedule-makers out of the gate for its first go-around of crossover action in the Three Rivers Athletic Conference.
First up was Morrison, which handed the Tigers a 46-0 defeat. Next comes Sterling Newman Friday, which may be in a foul mood on the heels of a rare opening day defeat.
Between them the Mustangs (2009, 2011) and the Comets (2004, 2010) have won four state championships over the past 10 years. Newman has won four state championships in school history dating back to 1990.
Coming up the Tigers will also draw Fulton, which has two state titles (1976, 1991), for a Week 6 crossover
PHS will draw three more foes who reached the playoffs last year in St. Bede, Orion and Rockridge.
North vs. South: The scoreboard for the first round of crossover contests in the Three Rivers shows the north with a 4-3 edge. In those games, Morrison beat Princeton, Bureau Valley beat Hall, Erie/Prophetstown topped Kewanee and Fulton surprised Orion, For the south, Rockridge upended Newman, St. Bede blasted Amboy and Sherrard whipped Riverdale.
Seven more crossovers are on tap this week with first conference games within divisional playing starting up Week 3. With seven teams in each division, there will be one crossover contest each week the rest of the way.
Crossover opponents will change each year on a rotating basis.
Morrison coach Cory Bielema said it can be a little nerve-wrecking preparing for new teams you've never placed before for your first game. He welcomes the four news teams to the conference, saying "I think Princeton, Morrison, Orion, Rockridge and Sherrard are going to be great additions to the conference and going to be fun meeting up with them.
They said it: When Bureau Valley came up about an inch short of gaining a first down Friday night, Storm coach Jeff Ohlson suggested to the officials, with a grin on his face, that one of the links was missing on the chains.
When asked to sum up the play of sophomore quarterback Joey Brackenmyer and knowing he was in earshot of his answer, Morrison's Bielema responded, "If I say good things about him, then it's going to go to his head and I'm going to deal with that all week … Maybe if he listens to Coach Bielema a little bit more he'll be all right."
Poll watching: Rockridge, which was unranked in the preseason, is ranked fifth in this week's AP 2A poll, thanks to its win over then No. 2, now No. 6 Newman. Ottawa Marquette and Annawan/Wethersfield are receiving votes in 2A.
Sterling moved into the No. 10 slot in 5A with its win over Metamora.