FAIRBURY (WCIA) — Andrew Quain challenged his Prairie Central team this year to go after the big takeaway but even he didn’t foresee the Hawks doing this well.

“I try to preach aggressiveness and kind of that gambling on defense,” the Prairie Central coach said. “It’s a crazy stat to think our defense has more interceptions than our offense has completions.”

The Hawks (5-0) defense responded by giving fits to Illini Prairie opponents all season long, picking opposing quarterbacks off an incredible 15 times over the first five games.

“Everybody’s flying around, everybody’s trying to get picks, everybody’s hustling,” Prairie Central senior linebacker Drew Fehr said. “Nobody takes plays off on our defense.”

“Going into the season, they told us they expect a lot of interceptions from us this year,” Prairie Central senior cornerback Dylan Bazzell said. “We’ve just being going after the ball, every time it’s in the air, we’re always playing towards the ball.”

Despite only 13 completions as a team on offense, defense has helped them to an undefeated mark through the first five games. Leading PC on the field and in takeaways is senior Drew Fehr, grabbing four picks this year and even taking one back to the house.

“I just want to make plays, I just want to provide for our team,” Fehr said. “Just make big plays and make a statement.”

“Drew just plays with a different level out there on defense,” Quain added. “He does it all.”

Besides the INTs, the 6-foot-1 linebacker has also rushed for 447 yards and eight touchdowns on offense.
But Fehr’s play while chasing the ball has the Hawks leading the league in chase of an IPC title.

“If you don’t let the other team score, they can’t win the game,” said Fehr. “We take a lot of pride in our defense every play. People want to make tackles, people want to make big plays.”

Prairie Central has not won a conference title since 2006 and a win over Paxton-Buckley-Loda in the Friday Football Fever Spotlight Game of the Week would go a long way to changing that. A spot at the top of the Illini Prairie Conference standings is up for grabs too, with both teams going in at 5-0.