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East Peoria Times-Courier - East Peoria, IL
  • East Peoria locks up football playoff spot

  • East Peoria will make its third Illinois High School Association football playoffs appearance in the last five years under head coach Doug Martin.

    The Raiders clinched an automatic berth Friday with a 27-10 Mid-Illini Conference victory on their Senior Night against Pekin.
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  • East Peoria will make its third Illinois High School Association football playoffs appearance in the last five years under head coach Doug Martin.
    The Raiders clinched an automatic berth Friday with a 27-10 Mid-Illini Conference victory on their Senior Night against Pekin.
    The Dragons have been on the opposite end of some key moments in recent years against East Peoria.
    Five years ago, the Raiders snapped a 25-game losing streak with a 28-24 win over Pekin.
    East Peoria (6-2, 4-2) will finish in second place in the league with a week-nine win at Morton (3-5, 3-3).
    Washington (6-2, 4-2) and Pekin (5-3, 4-2) also could join the Raiders one slot behind Metamora (6-2, 6-0), which wrapped up its eighth M-I title in the last nine years with a Friday victory over the Panthers.
    East Peoria has won four of the last six matchups with the Dragons.
    Michael Thompson and Lucas Joseph had two touchdowns apiece for the Raiders at Corwin Clatt Field.
    Thompson, the M-I rushing leader, ran for nearly 160 yards, including scampers of 27 and 9 yards to the end zone, which gave East Peoria a 13-0 second-quarter lead.
    Joseph's 20-yard fumble return for a TD increased the Raider margin to 19-7.
    Up 19-10 at halftime, Joseph bumped the advantage to 15 points with a 1-yard plunge across the goal line.
    Quarterback Nick Haeffele then tossed a two-point pass to Joseph to give East Peoria a three-score cushion.
    Joseph had 73 yards on the ground, averaging better than 5 yards per carry.
    The Raider defense recovered all five Pekin fumbles.
    East Peoria held the Dragon offense, which again was missing touchdown machine Clage Dodson to injury, to just more than 200 yards.
    The Raiders will learn their first-round playoff opponent Saturday night. The time and date of that matchup will be revealed Monday.

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