MT. VERNON — A topsy-turvy week of almosts and might-have beens in the South 7. Marion outran Mt. Vernon, Centralia pulled another almost-upset, and Cahokia humbled Carbondale. In the Black Diamond Conference, the contenders separated themselves as the conference split apart into haves and have-nots.
Here's the slate of games for this week:
Mt. Vernon (0-5, 0-2) at Carbondale (3-2, 1-1)
The Rams looked better again against Marion, but baby steps aren't going to do a whole lot where leaps and bounds are needed to produce wins. Look for the Rams to continue to put young players like Mario Thompson in the rotation and get some experience for next year, and actually move the ball a little bit. Carbondale still has a bitter taste in its mouth from last week's loss to Cahokia, and the Terriers will want to take that out on the hapless Rams, who can keep this game close, but not push over the edge.
Bottom line: Carbondle 32, Mt. Vernon 20
Marion (5-0, 2-0) at Belleville-Althoff (3-2, 2-0)
Great matchup between the two most dominant teams in the South 7. Marion can run the football with Shaquille Ivy or they can spread the field and throw it, while Althoff's running attack is big, mean, and fast. Between two very physical teams, Althoff is a bit bigger, and probably a little bit faster. But Marion's program is just a hair more solid, and they'll be up for this game.
Bottom line: Marion 28, Althoff 20
Centralia (2-3, 0-2) vs. Cahokia (2-3, 1-1)
Holy shootout, batman! The two leaders in scoring in the South 7 don't like defense much, but man can they score. Centralia's coming off two tough losses while Cahokia just punched Carbondale in the mouth last week for an unexpected win. Centralia's attack is just a tad better and they've got more late-game experience. Go with the Orphans to finally pull out a high-flying victory.