Mat Mikesell

What to watch for in Week 3: Saying Guilavogui's name easier than stopping him

By Herald-Whig
Posted: Sep. 6, 2018 12:01 am Updated: Sep. 6, 2018 2:01 am

He's perhaps the most dynamic player in the Western Illinois Valley Conference North Division, but good luck pronouncing Beardstown running back Pascal Guilavogui's last name on the first try.

Some coaches in the WIVC won't even attempt it.

"We just call him Pascal," Brown County coach Tom Little said. "He's kind of like Kramer from ‘Seinfeld.' Everyone knows him by just one name."

Saying his name might be easier than stopping him on the football field.

Little will draw up a game plan designed to slow the Tigers' junior back, who torched Pleasant Hill and Carrollton in the first two weeks of the season. Guilavogui scored six touchdowns and totaled 143 yards against the Wolves in the season opener, and he had touchdown runs of 80 and 16 yards against Carrollton last week.

Little said linebackers Wyatt Fink and Chance Fuqua have played well in the first two games for Brown County against Winchester West Central and Greenfield-Northwestern.

"You just have to hope to limit his big plays," Little said. "He's got skills that we don't have matchups to face. You just have to figure out how to match up."

Look for Brown County to keep the game close by controlling the time of possession.


West Hancock's Wilson eager for matchup

Bryce Wilson says his personal goal every game is to run over at least one defender.

The West Hancock senior fullback, listed at 5-foot-6 and 220 pounds, has become known around the program for trucking defenders like a bowling ball. That's earned him the nickname "Pinball Wizard" by his peers and fans.

"It's always fun to truck someone," Wilson said. "As a fullback, you got to hit guys, so I look to do that more often than not."

Wilson says it has been a while since he's taken a good shot from a defender. The ones he remembers most were as a sophomore -- on the first play of the game against Quincy Notre Dame and in a game against Macomb that season.

"There haven't been others," he said. "I don't plan on it happening."

Wilson knows Clark County linebacker Chayson Kleine is a hard hitter who could get a shot on him Friday when the teams square off. Wilson is eager for the chance to go head-to-head with Kleine.

"He's a really good linebacker, and I hope to see him play," Wilson said. "Clark County is definitely a team that could get me. I'd love to go 1-on-1 in the hole with (Kleine)."


Can Illini West post another shutout?

Annawan-Wethersfield and Havana failed to score against Illini West, which scored 80 during the first two weeks.

The Chargers, ranked No. 6 in the Class 2A state poll, insist the primary focus isn't posting shutouts, but they will go for another one when Knoxville comes to town Friday.

"It's icing on the cake," Illini West coach Lyle Klein said. "My biggest thing is after two games is we're healthy going into a major test in a playoff opponent and a conference champion."

A shutout against Knoxville would be impressive. The Blue Bullets went 5-0 to capture the Prairieland Black Conference title and scored 40 points or more in eight of their 11 games last season. The three times they didn't, they lost.

Knoxville lost 32-30 to Mercer County in the opener but rebounded to thrash Rushville-Industry 46-14 last week.

Illini West's defense has been stout because the front line is plugging the gaps and making it near impossible to run. The secondary had four interceptions last week against Havana.

It's difficult for any team to post three straight shutouts, but Illini West's defense is becoming a difference maker.