Effingham’s Tanner Pontious throws the ball before the start of the second half of a football game against Mattoon, Friday, September 17, 2021, at Klosterman Field.

Week 5 of the 2021 high school football season commences on Friday.

Here are the matchups and what the opponent brings to the table.


Effingham is coming off of a close loss to Mattoon in Week 4. The Flaming Hearts lost 20-14, dropping their record to 1-3 on the year.

Junior quarterback Tanner Pontious threw for 252 yards on 15-of-28 passing, with two touchdowns and four interceptions.

On the ground, junior John Westendorf rushed for 97 yards on 21 carries, while Pontious added 52 yards on 17 carries, and senior Keegan Baker, eight carries for 33 yards.

Junior wide receiver Armando Estrada was Pontious’ most targeted player, catching nine passes for 189 yards and one touchdown.

Defensively, senior Dalton Fox had 16 tackles to lead the team. Junior Connor Simmons added eight, while senior Edgar Castillo had seven.

Heading into Week 5, Effingham will take on a Taylorville team coming off of a 55-14 loss to Mt. Zion.

Running the football will be the main priority for the Hearts Friday night. Against Mt. Zion, the Tornadoes allowed 314 rushing yards on 36 attempts.

Offensively, Kamren Heimsness leads Taylorville behind center. Last week, he threw for 99 yards on 8-of-21 passing, with two touchdowns and two interceptions.

Senior Joe Lyons was his main target, catching five balls for 81 yards and both touchdowns.

Meanwhile, on defense, junior Kolin Albright led the Tornadoes last week with five tackles, while junior Seth Hughes, senior Koby Long, and senior Eric Provines had three.


After a poor showing against Lawrenceville in Week 4, Newton returns to the field in a Saturday matinee against Red Hill.

The Salukis are winless this year. There was no other information available.

As for the Eagles, Week 4 was one they would like to forget, with more self-inflicted wounds than they would have liked.

Newton had eight penalties for 73 yards to go along with a fumble return for a touchdown and an interception return for a touchdown.

Offensively, quarterback Mason Muley threw for 67 yards on 1-of-5 passing and ran six times for 16 yards and one touchdown. However, he also fumbled three times and did not recover one of them.

On the ground, Isaac Flowers rushed 16 times for 70 yards and one touchdown, while Dawson Deitz added 11 carries for 55 yards. Flowers also caught one pass for 29 yards.

Defensively, Braxton Griffith had a team-high seven tackles, while Ben Meinhart had six and Austin Moore had five.


Cumberland will look to avenge a Week 4 loss at home to Arcola with a win against Villa Grove on Friday.

The Pirates fell to Arcola 20-14, dropping them out of the Associated Press high school football rankings. They were originally No. 4 in the state for 1A.

Last week against the Purple Riders, quarterback Logan Thilker passed for 198 yards on 15-of-26 passing and two interceptions.

Junior Trevin Magee caught five passes for 126 yards, while junior Maddox McElravy had four catches for 55 yards.

Defensively, senior Iysten Syfert had 17 tackles. Junior Ty Bradley had 13 with two tackles for loss. Senior Galen Martinez had 10 with one tackle for loss, and Thilker added 10, too.

This week, Cumberland takes on a Villa Grove team coming off of a forfeit win over Argenta (Oreana). The last time the Blue Devils took the field was Week 3 against Cerro Gordo (Bement).

Against the Broncos, Liam Barr threw for 186 yards on 10-of-20 passing and three touchdowns. His top target was Elijah Kiesel, who caught four passes for 106 yards.

Meanwhile, on the ground, Luke Zimmerman had 185 yards rushing on 15 carries while adding 10 1/2 tackles and 1 1/2 tackles for loss.

Contact EDN Sports Editor Alex Wallner at 217-347-7151 ext. 124 or

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