The Effingham Hearts hosted Taylorville on Homecoming night.
Taylorville lost their starting quarterback, Brandon Odam, in last weeks game so backup Parker Stokes took the role of the Tornadoes starting quarterback in an important Apollo conference game.
Stokes took the second snap of the game and broke free for 71 yards and an early Taylorville touchdown.
Effingham answered back with a little bit longer of a drive, ending in a Terrence Hill four yard run. Danny Hortenstine’s extra point attempt was no good, so Taylorville led 7-6 in the first.
It was Stokes again for Taylorville that found the endzone on their next drive. Stones ran in from three yards out to make it 14-6.
In the last possession of the high scoring first quarter, Effingham was forced to punt for the first time in the game.
14-6 ended up being all the scoring there was in the first half as the second quarter featured two Taylorville turn over on downs, and one punt, and an Effingham punt and a lost fumble.
Taylorville led 14-6 at halftime. By the end of the first quarter, junior running back Terrence Hill had broke the 1,000 yard rushing mark for the season. He ended with 288 total rushing yards in the game.
The second half began with a downpour in the third quarter and early in the fourth, making it hard to do anything on offense about halfway through the third.
Effingham received the kickoff and was forced to punt.
A straight run right back up the middle ended up with running back, Evan Champley breaking free and scoring from 37 yards out to give Taylorville a two possession game, 21-6.
The Hearts were not about to quit during their homecoming game though. A big drive for Effingham ended in a 25 yard touchdown run by Terrence Hill and the Hearts pulled to within 8, 21-13.
Taylorville was forced to punt on their next three possessions, but Effingham could not capitalize. In that time, Effingham’s drives ended in a punt, a fumble, and a turnover on downs.
Finally, after a Taylorville fumble and Effingham recovery, Terrence Hill ran in from two yards out and came to within two points and a conversion to come.
The hand off the Hill was sniffed out by the Tornadoes defense and Taylorville led 21-19 with under a minute to play.
Effingham’s onside kick was recovered with no problem by Taylorville and all they had to do was run out the clock.
With a couple timeouts left for Effingham still, Taylorville was going to have to run a few place to run the clock down. Stokes took the ball straight up the middle after being under center and somehow broke free without being tackled and ran in from 46 yards out to really put the dagger in the Effingham homecoming. The Hearts dropped the game 28-19.
With the loss, Effingham drops to 3-3 overall and 2-1 in Apollo play with their first Conference loss. The Hearts will travel to Mattoon (3-3) to play the Green Wave next week.
With the win, Taylorville improves their record to 5-1 overall and 2-1 in the Apollo Conference. The Tornadoes will host Charleston (2-4) next week.