A-J slated to host Du Quoin this week

The undefeated Anna-Jonesboro Community High School football team plays at home at The Pit this Friday night against an always competitive Du Quoin squad.

Game time is set for 7 p.m. The game will be aired on WIBH radio in Anna.

Both teams have had one common opponent this season in Carterville. The Lions defeated the Indians 20-7 two weeks ago. The Wildcats manhandled Carterville last week in a 41-7 rout.

The Indians blasted Sparta 55-20 last weekend, which dropped the Bulldogs to 1-5 overall.

Leading the Indians at quarterback is senior Hank Stewart, 6-1, 185 pounds.

“He’s a pretty good athlete,” Du Quoin coach A.J. Hill said. “He can run and throw.” 

In the loss to Carterville, Stewart was 20-for-24 passing for 151 yards and had one interception.

Senior Klayton Donoghue, 5-6, 145 pounds, was the leading receiver in the game, with 54 yards on two pass receptions. Senior Ashton Smith, 6-0, 185 pounds, had 37 yards on two receptions. Senior Cameron Spiller, 5-11, 185 pounds, had 26 yards on two receptions.

Stewart was the leading rusher in the game with the Lions with 58 yards on 15 carries. Senior Donovan Cole, 6-0, 185 pounds added 30 yards rushing on 12 carries.

Junior Wesley Milam, 5-11, 195 pounds, another Indian running back, had 18 yards rushing on 5 carries in the loss.

The offensive line is anchored around seniors Cullen Higgins, 6-3, 250 pounds; Ryan Myers, 5-11, 205 pounds; and Charley Mercier, 5-11, 215 pounds.

Some of the the top defensive stalwarts are Mercier; sophomore Braden Higgins, 6-4, 250 pounds; Smith; and junior Shamar Adams, 6-0, 175 pounds.

The Indians have 18 seniors on their squad.

A-J head coach Brett Detering said the two teams were in a similar situation last season when they played. However, in that Southern Illinois River-to-River Conference Mississippi Division, contest A-J lost a heartbreaker, 14-13.

This season the Wildcats find themselves undefeated at 6-0 overall and 3-0 in the conference. 

The Indians come into the game 5-1 overall and 2-1 in the conference standings.

“We’ve got to do our job and stay at home,” Hill said. “We’ll try to spread them out a little. They’ve got just enough weapons that they can attack you in so many ways. We have to do our job on defense.”

Detering said there is still a possibility that if Du Quoin makes the playoffs, both teams could meet in postseason play. He said this is because the teams could possibly be in the 3A class because of enrollment numbers.

The game shapes up as a key conference matchup.

“Our conference championship is on the line,” Detering said. 

A-J has Sparta, 1-5, next week and closes out regular season play with Benton, 4-2, in two weeks. 

“We’ve got to stay focused on one game at a time,” Detering said.

The Gazette-Democrat

112 Lafayette St.
Anna, Illinois 62906
Office Number: (618) 833-2158
Email: news@annanews.com

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