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|Galesburg Prepared for a Battle Against Blue Devils
|Galesburg's defense has held two state-ranked football teams in check in the past two weeks, but the offense has yet to break out.
The Streaks hope that will happen Friday night at Quincy, a team that has won its first five games and is tied atop the Western Big Six with Alleman and Rock Island with a 2-0 record. The Blue Devils beat United Township 42-15 last week, the fourth straight game the Blue Devils have scored 40 or more points.
Quincy faces the meat of its schedule starting Friday against a Galesburg team that's been scrapping but was unable to pick up a league win against the Pioneers or the Rocks in the previous two weeks. Quincy's opponents so far have a combined record of 4-22 going into week six, and four wins have come against teams that are a combined 0-21. The rest of the way features teams with 11 wins and just 4 losses combined.
Galesburg has struggled to score points in Big Six play: none against a stingy Alleman defense that's shut out opponents for 14 consecutive quarters and 7 on a long pass play against Rock Island, which is second in the conference behind the Pioneers in points allowed.
But the Streaks defense has been solid, surrendering just 175 yards per game in league play - 156.5 of those on the ground. The offense, now dealing with the apparent loss of all-conference junior quarterback Andrew Steck against Quincy, is averaging 169 yards per game against Big Six opponents.
Galesburg coach Wes Olson says defensive coordinator Shawn Hickey has that unit playing really well - and very consistent.
"Those guys on that side of the ball, coaching-wise and player-wise, really work hard and understand the goal of our defense and understand how to have success playing within the defense. Certainly the system is helpful, but it also helps to have good players and our guys have been real selfless in how they go about playing defense and different guys stepping up at different times. I think that's been something we've definitely leaned on since week one."
Despite the recent offensive struggles, Galesburg is still outgaining opponents 225-141 on the ground and averaging better than 5 yards per carry.
Friday night's expected starter at quarterback, junior Jared Carl, showed flashes of what he can do when he carried the ball well at times against Rocky. Olson says he believes Carl is the fastest guy on the team.
Quincy leans on fullback D.J. Powell and running back Alex McNay, both seniors who are threats to break big plays.
The Blue Devils are averaging 37 points per game on offense and giving up 16.2 on defense. Galesburg comes in averaging about 24 points per game and surrendering an average of 18.8 on defense.
Pregame coverage begins at 7:06 p-m from Flinn Stadium on WGIL AM 1400.