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It's not even Thursday yet...


And I'm pumped about the Erie-Prophetstown vs. Amboy game at The Harbor.

Maybe it's because I've covered three games this season, all of them pitting Sauk Valley-area teams against non-area squads. And the local boys have allowed a shade over 57 points per game.

Maybe it's because Erie-Prophetstown boasts the area's top back, Nick Williams, who checks in with almost 1,100 yards and 17 touchdowns through five games.

Maybe it's because his Panthers haven't scored more than 14 points in their last 10 tilts with the Clippers. God-wiling, I'm finally going to see some defense.

Let's call it all of the above. Oh, and I love Football Friday.

It kicks our butts. Sports Editor Dan Woessner and I roll in about 2 in the afternoon to work ahead on the Weekend section, and I usually get home at about 2 a.m., just in time to feed the twins, in the hopes of salvaging about 3 hours of sleep. After all, I don't sleep away my Saturdays. You know. More football.

Despite the chaos, the frenetic push against deadline, we sportsters live for Friday nights. The games are great. But it's the widespread interest in them that makes it the ultimate social event.

There's this guy, Neil, who calls me once a week during the football season. He's a Mercer County apologist, and we talked for a bit about atmosphere at games on Friday night. He talked about how if you don't attend the games Friday night in Aledo, you don't belong.

MerCo's fans travel well, too. Last October, I watched the Eagles in a tussle for the ages in Amboy. Old Neil and I agreed that it was the de facto Class 2A state title game. It went MerCo's way, and Amboy QB Tyson Powers indulged me for an interview afterward.

We talked about the program, past, present and future. As the season expired, a slew of skill position players turned in their gear for the last time. Those not members of the Class of 2013 begrudgingly (for the most part) put up with the hoops or wrestling season before a pretty decent baseball campaign.

But what was the future then is now the present, and I'm curious to see what this Amboy team has. As I chatted with Powers last year, I couldn't help but think to myself, "Holy turnover, Batman." So far, my concerns have been reinforced by a three-game skid to open the season, including a bad loss to Hall. In Amboy, no less.

But again with the present. And, presently, the Clippers are playing much better. We all had to figure it would happen. They're getting healthier, and players are getting more used to their jobs.

I've gotten a bit windy here. See? That happens when I talk about Football Friday. Seriously, I was on the phone with Neil for a solid half-hour today. We talked a lot about the big, soft (my word) middle of the Three Rivers North. So many teams that are almost good enough that you'd expect them to make the playoffs.

E-P has shown that it's a cut above that middle ground. It's Amboy's turn. Win, and they've got a good shot to get in. Lose, and the Clippers would have to win out, including beating the one sure thing in the TRAC North.


To use my awful SVM Pigskin Primer signoff, see you at the game. I'll be the giddy guy with the notebook.

Christopher Heimerman is the assistant sports editor at Sauk Valley Media. Email him at, or follow him at @CHeimerman_SVM on Twitter.