QUINCY -- Weather-related issues brought on by the remnants of tropical storm Gordon have forced Quincy High School and Belleville East to play Friday night's scheduled football game a day early.
Officials from both schools agreed for the game to be played at 7 p.m. Thursday at Charlie Woodford Field in Belleville to avoid potential delays or cancellations on Friday.
The National Weather Service in St. Louis is calling for four to six inches of rain in the greater St. Louis area between now and Sunday, with the heaviest downfalls expected on Friday and Saturday. A 50 percent chance of rain, dissipating by game time, is forecast for Thursday. A 90 percent chance of rain is forecast for Friday night.
"This gives us the best chance to get the game in this week," Quincy athletic director Scott Douglas said.
Both teams are scheduled to begin play in their respective conferences next week, so risking a Friday night washout and potentially pushing the game to Monday was less than ideal.
"It's not the best situation, but it's something everyone has to adapt to," Quincy coach Rick Little said. "There's the mindset you feel like you've been cheated a day, and I'm sure (Belleville East coach Kris Stephens) feels the same. The circumstances are the same for everyone."
The Blue Devils (1-1) will have a walk-through Thursday morning before bussing to Belleville.
"The guys have responded well," Little said. "They're ready."
Douglas was contacted Wednesday by Belleville East athletic director Mark Larsen with the idea of moving the game forward.
Douglas was attending the Western Big Six Conference athletic directors fall meeting in Galesburg, and he had to work out several logistical hurdles before committing to the schedule change. He had to determine if charter busses were available and if the coaching staff could get out of school in time to make a 5 p.m. kickoff for the sophomore game.
When all hurdles were cleared, the decision was made to play Thursday.
"We felt like we needed to take advantage of this little window or this little pocket to get this game in," Douglas said. "I'm not 100 percent sure we have a good plan B if it rains Thursday. Maybe the weather changes, and we can play Friday again."