By Jeff Holt
Published October 14, 2021 in The Burg
"You still have to play the game." That's what a longtime Silver Streak sports fan said to me last Friday, a couple hours before Galesburg's football team played at Moline.
So, I made the 50-minute drive to the Quad Cities with the hopes of a big upset. It was Moline's homecoming night, the game didn't start until after 8 p.m. and I found myself with my old diet of pizza from the concession stand. The Maroons football team (6-1, 5-0) lived up to their pregame hype, with a 20-0 lead at halftime and a 27-0 win over the Silver Streaks. Moline's defense was simply dominant with their fourth-straight shutout of the season. "It's been like that most of the season," said Moline coach Mike Morrisey, shortly after the win. "The defensive coaching staff has done an excellent job preparing our kids and putting them in certain situations that we can do well." Beyond all of that, I still wanted to know what made this Moline football team the elite of the Western Big 6 Conference? What gave them that edge? Morrisey quickly added, "We have a lot of multi-sport athletes. A lot of our guys are basketball guys, baseball guys and track. We encourage that a lot as an athletic department. It helps too that they will get different coaching in our program and I think that helps." That certain emphasis toward multi-sport athletes definitely showed last Friday night when you saw the Maroons varsity squad on the sidelines - filled with a ton of players. "We have about 120 or 125 kids in our program and we have a big freshman group," Morrisey said. "We have another big group of eighth graders with 60 that we are hoping to keep out. We are very fortunate that our lower-level coaches have also promoted our program to keep these kids involved and keep them engaged in athletics and football specifically." Galesburg, which slipped to 2-5 on the season and 2-3 in the WB 6, has lost three of their games this season by just 3 points or less. The Silver Streaks close out their season on Friday at home against United Township and then the following week at Alleman. "I feel like they (Galesburg) are a physical team," Morrisey added. "They still do some things well. We knew we had to have a good week of practice and come out and match their physicality." Looking back at that game, Galesburg did almost score on the Maroons when sophomore kicker Sam Satisky just missed a 38-yarder midway through the second quarter. Point to ponder: You've heard some people say football is a "numbers game." At press time, the enrollment of Galesburg High School is around 1,200 students and Moline High School's enrollment is around 2,000 students. That difference is close to 800 students! GHS coach Derrek Blackwell and his Silver Streaks football team is doing a great job of competing night in and night out.