EFFINGHAM (WCIA) — Sometimes it takes a while for a team to gel, could be days, could be weeks. Or sometimes slow starts are simply due to the schedule, both can be said for Effingham.
“It turned out Mater Dei was pretty good and we obviously know Taylorville is really good,” Effingham head coach Brett Hefner said. “We made a couple changes and kind of got going, just needed that one win and I think the big one, had the win against Mt. Zion.”
The Hearts first two opponents this season were Breese Mater Dei and Taylorville. Those two teams combined for a 16-2 record in the regular season. Effingham hasn’t lost a game since after avenging its loss to Mater Dei in the first round of the playoffs on Saturday.
“It was really satisfying,” Effingham senior quarterback Landon Wolfe said. “It’s been a long time since we’ve beat them. It’s a team that usually gets us so to get them for once in a huge game in the playoffs it was a pretty good win for us.”
The team knew all along it had the talent, saying the two losses ending up helping them. The Hearts averaged more than 48 points per game during their seven game win streak to close the regular season.
“We were kind of just motivated by the fact that people didn’t really expect us to do very well this year, considering we lost so many seniors last year,” Effingham senior safety Kendall Ballman said. “So we were just kind of fueled by that.”
Next up, a second round home playoff game against Paris at 2 p.m. on Saturday. The Tigers come in undefeated and are having their best season in program history.