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Football: Three Rivers North By the Numbers

Published: Tuesday, July 1, 2014 11:57 p.m. CDT


That’s how many state titles the Newman Comets have won after taking home the Class 2A championship last fall at Huskie Stadium in DeKalb. The Comets won titles in 1990(1A), 1994 (1A), 2004 (2A), 2010 (2A) and 2013 (2A). Last year, they beat Staunton 40-13 to clinch the championship.


That’s how many playoff runs to the quarterfinals or deeper for the Newman Comets in Mike Papoccia’s 34 seasons as head coach. That includes the five state titles, runner-up finishes in 1993 (1A) and 1998 (1A), and semifinal losses in 1995 (1A) and 2012 (3A), The Comets have made it to the quarterfinals or deeper in each of the last five seasons.


That’s the streak of consecutive seasons with a playoff berth that was snapped by the Morrison Mustangs with last season’s 2-7 record. The Mustangs won 2A state titles in 2009 and 2011, and had a 51-10 record under coach Cory Bielema before the 2013 rebuilding year.


That’s the total number of football state championships won by teams in the Three Rivers North. In addition to Newman’s 5, Morrison and Fulton (1976 & 1991) both have two 2A titles. Amboy won the 2A title in 1984, and Bureau Valley claimed the 3A crown in 2005.


That’s the streak of losing seasons the Erie-Prophetstown Panthers snapped with a 5-5 campaign in 2012. The 8-3 record last fall was the Panthers’ first final record above .500 since they went 6-4 in 2002. It’s only the third playoff trip in co-op history, and the first-round victory over River Valley was the first since the schools joined forces.


That’s the number of consecutive losing seasons for the Fulton Steamers before last year’s 5-4 record snapped that string. It was only the second above-.500 season since Patrick Lower took over in 2007.


That’s how many 5-4 teams didn’t make the playoffs in 2013. Fulton’s 34 playoff points fell two short of the final cutoff for the 256-team playoff field.


That’s how many seasons out of the last 15 that the Amboy Clippers have finished with a record of .500 or better. That includes 11 trips to the playoffs, and four runs to the quarterfinals. The Clippers have won at least eight games in six of those seasons.


That’s how many seasons Gary Jones has been the head coach at Amboy, the second-longest tenure in the TRAC North behind Newman’s Mike Papoccia. Jones has led the Clippers to 116 victories since taking over the program in 1994.


That’s how many playoff berths the Bureau Valley Storm have secured since the school was formed in 1995. All nine came in a 10-year span from 2001-2010, with a 3A state title in 2005 and a runner-up finish in 3A in 2004.

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