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Football: Upstart Streator stuns Sterling

STREATOR – Little worked for the Sterling Golden Warriors on Friday. And when something did, it blew up in their faces a few plays later.

Sterling lost 21-2 in Streator and struggled all night on both sides of the ball against the previously winless Bulldogs (1-5, 1-1 Northern Illinois Big 12 West).

Offensively, Sterling (3-3, 1-1) had only one first down in the first half, only 182 yards of offense for the game and five total turnovers.

After Sterling opened three-and-out, Streator set the tone with a no-huddle offense on its first drive. The Bulldogs went 69 yards in less than 2 minutes, finally getting a 9-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Caleb Spears to Colton Olson with 9 minutes, 15 seconds left in the quarter to make it 6-0.

“We’ve actually been practicing that since the summer,” said Streator coach Kirk Melody of the no-huddle look. “We used it a bit against Bartonville Limestone, but we just haven’t had any opportunities.”

Streator added another score on a 7-yard run from Nick Harcar with 8:17 to go in the second quarter, which was before Sterling achieved a first down. The Warriors finally got that on their next possession on a 38-yard pass from Bryant Lilly to Logan Cheshire.

However, the drive stalled four plays later when Streator stuffed a Lilly run on fourth-and-1.

Streator made its final statement to start the second half. It converted four third-down conversions on an 81-yard drive that ended with a 1-yard touchdown run from Kyle Kurdziolek with 5:36 left to go in the third.

From that point on, it was about missed opportunities for Sterling. 

Twice, the Warriors had first-and-goal, only to have a fumble while in the pistol formation, the second of which came on fourth down with the ball less than 2 inches from the goal line. Sterling also threw consecutive interceptions to close the game.

Lilly was 7-for-28 passing for 91 yards and three interceptions. He also rushed for a team-high 46 yards.

Star of the game: Drew Muntz (Streator), 58 yards rushing

Up next: Sterling at Geneseo, 7:30 Friday

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