It was another dominating performance by the Forreston Cardinals in moving to 5-2 with a 52-7 win over Galena on Oct. 5.
With West Carroll and Amboy, both at 2-5, left on the schedule, Forreston looks to be in shape for a third place finish in the NUIC Northwest.
Dakota (6-1) is still ahead in conference standing, but have EPC and Le-Win to play.
Those three teams, along with Forreston will be the only Northwest teams headed to the playoffs, as East Dubuque was eliminated by Du-Pec and Amboy by Dakota.
Forreston beat a Galena squad, which is 4-20 in league play the last three years, after having winning records every year but two since 1985.
As usual, it was pound-and-ground for Forreston in compiling 400 rushing yards. Evan Kelsey had a big game with touchdowns of 10, 1, 73 and 8 yards. He finished with 135 yards on 10 carries.
“Kelsey played very well,” Forreston coach Kyle Zick said. “He’s a strong running back. He’s not the biggest player out there, but he’s elusive and hard to bring down.”
Quarterback Bailey Cullor attempted only two passes, but one of those was for 55 yards and a touchdown to Cailean Davids.
Dom Christensen contributed 62 yards on seven carries, Hunter Rogers 56 on eight, Ethan Mulder 44 on nine and Garett Badertscher 49 on nine.
“Offensively, we cleaned some things up with blocking and were much more successful coming out of the second lightning delay,” Zick said. “
Defensively, the Pirates were held to 93 yards on 32 carries and 67 yards in the air.
“We’re still growing and learning on defense,” Zick said. “We are starting to play as a group, but have a ways to go before we reach our goal.”
Leading the way were linebackers Mulder and Badertscher.
“Ethan led the team with tackles again. He’s been solid at inside linebacker with Garett,” Zick said.
With five wins, the Cardinals are guaranteed their 20th winning season in the last 21 years and will head into the playoffs for the 18th time in that same time span.