WEEK 9 FOOTBALL PREVIEW: Effingham, Cumberland look to finish regular season strong with wins; Issac Flowers aims for another strong game for Newton

Oct. 21—Below is this week's Effingham Daily News High School Football Preview — an article detailing the matchups for Effingham, Newton, and Cumberland.



Last Year: Highland def. Effingham, 42-21, at Klosterman Field.

Last Week: Effingham def. Breese Mater Dei, 17-0, at Klosterman Field at Washington Savings Bank Stadium.

Effingham Notes: Effingham is 5-3 entering Week 9 after defeating Breese Mater Dei, 17-0, in Week 8. The Flaming Hearts rushed for 194 yards on 54 carries and two touchdowns. Sophomore Weldon Dunston rushed for 98 yards on 32 carries and one score. Senior Tanner Pontious rushed for 82 yards on 16 carries and one score. Senior Caden Walls rushed for eight yards on one carry, and senior Evan Waymoth rushed for six yards on five carries. Behind center, Pontious threw for 70 yards on 8-of-12 passes, while senior Jack Harper completed one pass for two yards. Walls caught three passes for 38 yards. Junior Andrew Lotz caught three passes for 21 yards. Sophomore Kaden Koeberlein caught two passes for 20 yards. Junior Jacob Weaver caught one pass for three yards, and Pontious caught one pass for two yards. Defensively, junior Charlie Ring had five tackles. Sophomore Michael Love had four tackles. Junior Spencer Fox, Waymoth, and senior Connor Simmons had three tackles. Senior London Rinkel and senior Logan Heil had two tackles, and Harper, senior Carter Bushue, senior Josh Kelley, and senior Armando Estrada had one tackle.

Opponent Notes: Highland enters Week 9 with a 7-1 record and ranked fifth in Class 5A in the Associated Press rankings. The lone loss for the Bulldogs is a 31-28 loss to Class 8A Edwardsville, which received votes in the rankings this week. Senior Brent Wuebbels leads Highland behind center. He has thrown for 27 touchdowns, three interceptions, and 1,378 yards on 97-of-133 passing. His main targets are seniors Brode Lewis, Cade Altadonna, Brenden Gelly, and Travis Porter. Lewis has caught 31 passes for 452 yards and five touchdowns, Altadonna has caught 23 passes for 379 yards and six touchdowns, Gelly has caught 14 passes for 221 yards and seven touchdowns, and Porter has caught 15 passes for 186 yards and four touchdowns. Meanwhile, in the backfield, Porter is the team's leading rusher with 896 yards on 116 attempts and 14 touchdowns. Wuebbels adds 481 yards on 52 carries and two touchdowns. Junior Dylan Beadle has 15 carries for 304 yards and two touchdowns. Jonathan Prott has 15 carries for 116 yards and four touchdowns, and junior Hunter Frey has seven carries for 107 yards and two touchdowns.


Last Year: Newton def. Paris, 7-6, at Paris.

Last Week: Newton lost to Olney Richland County, 28-21, at Olney.

Newton Notes: Isaac Flowers has been a bright spot in an otherwise not-so-bright season for Newton. Since returning from an injury in Week 7, Flowers has rushed for 261 yards on 35 carries and three touchdowns and caught three passes for 76 yards and one touchdown. Last week, against Olney Richland County, Flowers totaled 26 carries for 146 yards in the Eagles' loss. Meyer Tarr had eight carries for 75 yards and one touchdown. Riley Darkow had one carry for one yard. Dominik Utley had one carry for one yard and one touchdown. Riley Hart had four carries for 32 yards, and Parker Wolf had one carry for four yards. Behind center, Max Meinhart threw for 90 yards on 7-of-14 passes and one touchdown to one interception. He has completed 51-of-122 passes for 890 yards and eight touchdowns to nine interceptions this year. His top target this year has been Wolf, who has 19 catches for 241 yards and one touchdown. Trevor Haarman adds 11 catches for 191 yards and three touchdowns. Jack Kinkade has 10 catches for 94 yards and one touchdown. Tarr has three catches for 76 yards and one touchdown, and Moore has five catches for 47 yards and one touchdown.

Opponent Notes: In the last 10 years, Newton is 6-3 against Paris, with one game not getting played due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The Eagles are outscoring the Tigers 247-157 during that timeframe.


Last Year: Cumberland def. Cerro-Gordo-Bement, 41-8, at Pirate Field.

Last Week: Cumberland def. Argenta-Oreana, 48-0, at Argenta on Saturday.

Cumberland Notes: The Pirates will look to continue to stay hot against Cerro-Gordo-Bement in Week 9 after a shutout victory over Argenta-Oreana in Week 8. Cumberland has won its last six football games and will look to make it seven in a row Friday night. Bryant Weber threw for 225 yards on 5-of-6 passes and four touchdowns for the Pirates in Week 8. His top target was Trevin Magee, who caught three passes for 105 yards and two touchdowns. Ross McBride had one catch for 72 yards and one score, and Ty Bradley had one catch for 48 yards and one score. Meanwhile, in the backfield, Blake McMechan rushed for 41 yards on four carries and one touchdown.

Opponent Notes: Cumberland is 2-2 against Cerro-Gordo-Bement, formerly Cerro-Gordo-DeLand-Weldon-Bement, dating back to 2014. The Pirates have won the last two meetings.

Contact EDN Sports Editor Alex Wallner at 618-510-9231 or alex.wallner@effinghamdailynews.com.