Coalers shutout Normal U-High to advance in playoffs

Coal City running back Landin Benson scored five TDs while Gavin Carpenter capped the rain-soaked night with a 35-yarder to lead the Coalers to a 44-0 victory over visiting Normal U-High Friday night. The #8 seeded Coalers (8-2) will travel to Rochester (10-0) on Friday, Nov. 3 at 7 p.m. for round two of the Class 4A playoffs.

The Coaler defense was impressive, allowing Normal U just 61 yards of total offense while the offense opened gaps for Benson to have touchdown runs of 3, 4, 27, 3 and 11 yards. They also ran in four PATs as it wasn't a night for kicking a slippery ball.

Rochester is the #1 seed in the lower bracket who pounded #16 Lincoln (5-4) 59-14. Other Friday night games included two upsets in the 4A bracket as Kewanee (8-1) was knocked off by Notre Dame Peoria (6-4)28-13 and Richmond-Burton, the #5 seed, was upended by St. Viator (6-4) by a 14-0 score.