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Pioneers pull away from Streaks to become postseason eligible

Pioneers pull away from Streaks to become postseason eligible

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ROCK ISLAND —  A Picasso it wasn’t, but Alleman painted another win on its football record Friday night.

The Pioneers used a pair of fourth-quarter touchdown runs by Nate Sheets to finish off a penalty-filled 27-14 Western Big 6 Conference victory over Galesburg at Lindberg Stadium.

Sheets scored on carries of 18 and 15 yards in the fourth quarter to finish off Alleman’s fifth straight victory.

The senior who also scored the only points of the first half on a reception, busted free for an 18-yard score with 8 minutes, 8 seconds left in the game on a carry around right end four plays after the Silver Streaks turned the ball over on a fumble, extending a 13-7 lead.

After forcing a Galesburg punt, Jake Mattecheck picked up 24 of his 72 yards on a pair of carries which set up a 15-yard touchdown run by Sheets.

Finishing off his own 76-yard rushing effort, Sheets ran right, found himself in traffic, reversed field and weaved his way into the end zone with 6:41 to go.

The effort was enough for the Pioneers (5-3, 4-2 WB6) to overcome a flag-filled game which saw the teams penalized a combined 23 times for 182 yards. The win also made the Pioneers playoff eligible.

Touchdown passes by Alec Ponder and Zach Carpita – one on the final drive of the first half by Ponder and one on the opening drive of the second half by Carpita – allowed the Pioneers to open a 13-0 lead.

Carpita connected with a Killian Ahern on a 52-yard pass just under two minutes into the third quarter, finding the senior open along the right side for a score that Galesburg answered later in the quarter.

The Silver Streaks pulled within a 13-7 score with 3:08 remaining in the third quarter on a 32-yard pass play from Grant Aten to Justin Gatson.

Aten finished off the scoring with :44 to play on a 4-yard carry for the Silver Streaks (2-6, 1-5).

Alleman drove the ball inside the Galesburg 5-yard line twice during a first half dominated by defense, but reached the end zone just once to take a 6-0 lead into the locker room at the break.

Sheets grabbed a five-yard pass from Ponder in traffic with 49 seconds remaining in the second quarter to put the Pioneers on top at the break.

Alleman found success through the air, with Ponder and Carpita connecting on 10 of the 12 passes they threw in the first two quarters to account for 89 of the 138 yards the Pioneers collected by halftime.

Of those, 69 came during a 12-play drive which saw Alleman the ball downed inches away from the goal line as the opening quarter expired.

A false start on the first snap of the second quarter moved the ball back to the Silver Streaks’ 6-yard line and Carpita gained only four yards on a fourth-down carry.

The teams traded three punts before Alleman started its first socring drive at its own 49 with 3:49 remaining in the second quarter.

Ponder connected of five-of-seven passes on the drive, including an 11-yard to Caleb Sharer on a third-and-4 play that moved the ball into the red zone, where an 14-yard pass to Sheets preceded his touchdown reception.

The Pioneers host Rock Island to finish their regular-season schedule next Friday while the Silver Streaks conclude their season at Sterling.

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