Originally Posted Online: Oct. 04, 2012, 9:19 pm
Last Updated: Oct. 04, 2012, 10:54 pm

Football preview: Alleman (6-0, 3-0 Big 6) at Moline (2-4, 1-2 Big 6)

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By Steve Tappa, stappa@qconline.com

Tonight: 7:30 at Moline's Browning Field (sophomores at 5). Radio: WFXN-AM 1230. Twitter: @SteveTappa_DA.

Why watch: Moline celebrates both Senior Night and the 100th anniversary of Browning Field with league-leading Alleman on the visiting sideline. The unbeaten Pioneers, top-ranked in the Illinois Associated Press Class 4A state football rankings, hope to remain on a collision course with crosstown rival Rock Island for a winner-take-all Western Big 6 Conference finale next weekend. However, Moline needs an upset victory to remain in playoff contention. ... Moline coach Crick Sant Amour said All-Big 6 performer Matt Roche (knee) returns to full-time kicking action this week, as well as limited work on offense, after the senior missed all but one half of play so far this season because of injury. ... Moline senior linebacker Austin Stephenson is out tonight after getting ejected from last weekend's win at Quincy. ... Wednesday's freshman game with Moline had to be cancelled because of a rash of injuries to Alleman's sophomore class, Pioneers coach Dave DeJaegher said. With only nine 10th-graders available for tonight's game, Alleman was forced to move up its freshman class to fill out tonight's roster for the sophomore prelim. ... Moline owns a 31-25-2 edge in the all-time series.

Alleman's DeJaegher: "We're not looking ahead to anything other than (tonight's) game. That's a recipe to get beat. Next weekend doesn't happen if we don't play well. That's a hungry and good team on the other side. This is a big challenge for us. They're big, they're physical, they're well-coached and they play hard. Their defense is very aggressive and flies to the ball. Offensively they're very efficient. They've just been bitten by injuries this year."

Moline's Sant Amour: "If we do the things we need to do, we've got a chance. Nobody is giving us a chance, but I'm OK with that. It just matters that our kids believe. At the end of practice (Thursday), I told the kids, there's no inspirational speech coming. We're playing Alleman and this is a must-win for us. It's a playoff game for us. So if I need to say anymore, I need to check them for a pulse."


-- By Steve Tappa, stappa@qconline.com