To say the Moline High School football team isn’t having one of the best seasons in the school’s history would be an understatement. Last Friday’s late second half comeback win over Quincy High School secured the Western Big Six conference championship for the second year in a row for the Maroons. They are 7-1 overall this season and 5-0 in their conference. And having also won it outright last year, they are the only team in Moline’s history to have back to back conference titles.
For senior wide receiver, Xavier Scritchfield, the success of the season is a long time coming for someone who started his high school football career injured and on the sidelines. “I didn’t play the first half of my freshman year because I came into high school not knowing I had a fractured femur,” explained Scritchfield. “And then once that healed up I came back and started playing and then my sophomore year in the second game of the season I got a concussion and I was out for most of the season again. So going into my first year of being a varsity athlete, I was kind of worried about how my body would do, injury and all but least year I was completely healthy and so far this year I’ve been completely healthy.”
All that good health has equated to Scritchfield and his team winning games with some of the highest scores the area has seen in a long time. “I don’t think we plan to go out and have big scoring games,” said Scritchfield. “I think we just go out there and try to put the ball in the end zone as many times as possible.” And with final scores this season like 41-0, 64-1 and 56-0, finding the end zone seems to be the least of their worries during the game.
Anyone that plays or follows football or any sport really, knows that wins on the field begin in the off season. Scritchfield credits his success on the field to all the extra hours he put in the gym this past summer but doesn’t forget to credit his main support system in his life. “Coming off the season we had last year, I knew I wanted to get bigger and stronger for the upcoming season because I knew we could do great things and I don’t think I’d be the man I am now if I didn’t have the parents I have and other people outside of my immediate family,” said Scritchfield. “Everyone that’s had an impact on my life has helped me with football because they make me realize it not all about going out there and playing. There are other things you need to do and other things you can take from football and do outside your life.”
With the Maroon’s final game of the season being an away game this Friday night against Stagg High School in Palos Hills IL, Scritchfield already has playoff thoughts on his mind, but still keep a humble attitude this week, even when rest of the town is going crazy. “Of course with the wins we’ve been coming off, we have that confidence, but we can’t overlook anybody,” said Scritchfield. “Since the beginning of the season, the eye has been on playoffs the entire time. It’s always been about the playoffs. And this year it’s about winning one and then winning another until we get stopped.”
Photo credit: Phil Cunningham