Benton visits A-J needing win to earn postseason playoff spot
The Benton High School football team visits Anna-Jonesboro this Friday night as both teams close out 2017 regular season play.
The Rangers, 5-3, are in a must win situation for a sixth victory to earn an IHSA playoff berth.
Kickoff is set for 7 p.m. Friday at The Pit. Friday will be Senior Night for A-J. The game will be aired on WIBH radio in Anna.
Senior Hamilton Page, 5-10, 165 pounds, leads the Rangers at quarterback.
He was 5 for 17 passing for 88 yards and an interception in Benton’s 19-14 loss to Murphysboro last Friday.
“Their quarterback has been a starter for four years,” A-J football coach Brett Detering said. “He can run and really throws the ball well.”
Senior Cade Thomas, 5-7, 146 pounds, was the top receiver with 33 yards on 2 pass receptions in the loss. Junior Joey Craig, 6-0, 160 pounds, had 19 yards on a reception.
Senior Blane Pankey, 5-11, 225 pounds, was the leading rusher against Murphysboro with 71 yards on 13 carries.
Quarterback Page added 44 yards rushing on 9 carries.
Pankey, who doubles over as a linebacker, is the top defensive player on the squad.
“They are a solid football team,” Detering said.
Detering’s squad is aiming for a victory and a shot at a postseason home playoff game.
The Wildcats are already assured of a playoff berth with an unblemished 8-0 record.
The 2017 football playoff pairings are scheduled to be announced Saturday by the Illinois High School Association.