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|A Family Affair: A&R Hosts Stark County
|Two brothers who have been around football all of their lives will see the teams they coach face off Friday night.
Taul Noard is in his fourth year leading the Alwood-Rowva football program. The Bulldogs, off to a 3-1 start, will host Stark County in Woodhull. The Rebels are coached by Jade Noard, who led his team to a 10-4 record and an appearance in the Class 1-A state championship game last season. He's in his 5th year at the helm at Stark County.
Alwood-Rowva shut out Elmwood-Brimfield last week. A&R's only loss was two weeks ago, 49-13 against state-ranked Mercer County. The Bulldogs are 1-1 in the West Prairie Trail Northwest Division. The two other wins were against Galva-Williamsfield and Peoria Heights by combined scores of 110-35.
Stark County is also 3-1 after drubbing North Fulton 45-6 last week. The Rebels are also 1-1 in conference play. The only loss came at state-ranked United 22-21 two weeks ago.
The coaches didn't meet during Taul Noard's first season. They did go head-to-head on the sidelines two years ago, a game won by Stark County 32-6. Stark County won last year's match-up 32-26, but Taul Noard was not able to be at that game.
Jade Noard tells WGIL it's bitter-sweet going up against his brother.
"It is, it's a different situation going into this week. We know a lot about each other and there's some things you have to take into account with that. It's different than any other game."
Stark County leads the Northeast Division on defense and is second on offense to his brother's Alwood-Rowva squad. The Rebels come in to the game averaging 38 points offensively and surrendering just 8.7 on defense. The Bulldogs are averaging nearly 41 points per game and giving up 21.
Stark County has made the playoffs in all four of Jade Noard's previous seasons as the team's head coach, and nine straight seasons before that. Last season's finish as the state runner-up was the second time that's happened. The other was the 1998 season.
A&R went 10-1 in Taul Noard's first season. The team is reloading after going 1-8 and 3-6 the next two years.
The two coaches are the sons of longtime football coach Gaylen Noard, who is a volunteer coach at Alwood-Rowva.
The game between Stark County and A&R kicks off at 7 p-m.