Photo Gallery | Urbana is back, Tigers lose first game in two years

After a two-year hiatus, the Urbana football program is back in action in the Big 12 Conference. As expected, the road to rebuilding a quality football program will be brutal for the Tigers. With just six players - Lucas Pankau, Jaydon Riggs, Ayden Palmer, Tahaji Haymer, Aveon Vann, and Seth Pierson - who make up the senior class on this year's squad, the Tigers haven't won a game after the first three weeks of play in the regular season.

This past Friday, Urbana fell 92-0 to the Peoria High School and dropped their Week 2 contest a week earlier to Peoria Notre Dame, 72-0.

Those scores might be a cause for concern, but keep in mind the program's youth and varsity inexperience outside of the efforts of a lone senior, it is the team's underclassmen doing the heavy lifting in the stat book.

Sophomore Sorrell Darough, Jr., has 116 all-purpose yards so far, and freshman Christian Porter has tallied 70 yards after making appearances in two games for Urbana. Kyree Hillsman, who has 23 rushing and 12 passing yards, is also a sophomore.

Pankau is leading the Tigers' offensive effort in his final season of eligibility with 198 yards.

Riggs, the starting quarterback, has completed 16 of 54 passes for 233 yards and has tallied 13 yards rushing.

Below are photos from the team's season opener against Centennial on Saturday, August 26. Despite a running clock in the second half, Urbana scored two touchdowns during the fourth quarter in the 49-14 loss.


Urbana football team walks on to Tommy Stewart Field

Locked arm-in-arm, (left to right) Kamario Kersch (So.), Tahaji Haymer (Sr.), CJ Blanden (So.), Jaydon Riggs (Sr.) and Kyree Hillsman (So.) lead members of the 2023 Tigers football team on to Tommy Stewart Field to take on the Centennial Chargers in their season-opener. The group is the first to represent the Urbana athletic program in two years. Keeping in mind, not one athlete on the team saw time on a varsity squad, Urbana played with heart and determination displaying occassional glimpses of their future potential.
Photo: PhotoNews Media/Clark Brooks


Sorrell Darough, Jr., is wrapped up by Chargers' defender during first quarter action. After three games, the sophomore is averaging 3.8 yards per carry for the Tigers.
Photo: PhotoNews Media/Clark Brooks


Urbana's Jaydon Riggs drags a Centennial player on a play during the first quarter. The senior ran for six yards and went 6-for-14 for 119 yards passing.
Photo: PhotoNews Media/Clark Brooks


Tiger's CJ Blanden provides pass protection during a first half play.
Photo: PhotoNews Media/Clark Brooks


Tigers' defensive back Jaydon Riggs drags down a Charger ball carrier for a loss.
Photo: PhotoNews Media/Clark Brooks


Sorrell Darough, Jr., is tackled by a Centennial Charger. UHS trailed 14-0 after the first quarter of the game. Darough would go on to finish the game with six carries good for 51 yards.
Photo: PhotoNews Media/Clark Brooks


Surrounded by the opposing team, Jaydon Riggs looks for running room against the Chargers. The senior would score the team's only rushing touchdown of the game late in the fourth quarter.
Photo: PhotoNews Media/Clark Brooks


Despite their team's struggle on the field in front of them, Urbana student fans were supportive and cheered enthusiastically at every opportunity.
Photo: PhotoNews Media/Clark Brooks


Urbana sophomore ball carrier Anthony Portis hangs on to the ball after taking solid licks from Centennial defenders while returning a kickoff.
Photo: PhotoNews Media/Clark Brooks


Urbana fans watch their team during the season-opener on Saturday in Champaign.
Photo: PhotoNews Media/Clark Brooks


Centennial cornerback Trunique Harvey breaks up a pass play to Urbana's Alexander Davis.
Photo: PhotoNews Media/Clark Brooks


The Urbana Tiger plays rock-paper-scissors with a Tiger fan during halftime. At the break, UHS was down 42-0.
Photo: PhotoNews Media/Clark Brooks


Urbana head coach Curtis Blanden

Urbana head coach Curtis Blanden goes over the team's second half game plan with Kyree Hillsman. The sophomore carried the ball twice gaining 15 yards in the conference loss.
Photo: PhotoNews Media/Clark Brooks


A young football fan shows off his dance moves during a timeout while music is played over the P.A. system during the fourth quarter.
Photo: PhotoNews Media/Clark Brooks


Sorrell Darough, Jr., races to the end zone to score the first, and so far, only passing touchdown of the season. The sophomore made two catches for a total of 59 yards against the host Chargers.
Photo: PhotoNews Media/Clark Brooks



Sentinel Article Archive



Feb 25, 2024  .::. 
Glenbard North's Gomez wins third state title
Feb 25, 2024  .::. 
Commentary |
With BeyoncĂ©’s foray into country music, the genre may finally break free from the stereotypes that has dogged it

Feb 25, 2024  .::. 
Florida defies CDC advice telling parents it's okay to send unvaccinated kids to school during recent outbreak
Feb 21, 2024  .::. 
Commentary |
Hey Taylor; love the music, but please park that private jet

Feb 23, 2024  .::. 
Carnivore diet challenges norms, reveals health transformations
Feb 21, 2024  .::. 
Commentary |
No way having a baby should cause a financial catastrophe


Editorial |
Green light to attack NATO



Top Articles This Month