Blue Devils back in control of WB6 title chase after shutting out Panthers


EAST MOLINE, Ill. — The Quincy High School boys soccer team is in control of its fate.

Tuesday night’s 1-0 victory over United Township moved the Blue Devils into sole possession of first place in the Western Big 6 Conference as they try to regain the crown they’ve worn more than any other team in league history.

Quincy hasn’t won the WB6 title since 2018, but it is the only team still undefeated in league play.

“It’s exciting,” QHS coach Ron Bridal said. “After not having the best outcome in terms of conference the last couple of years, the kids have this as their goal. They are taking small steps along the way, and winning games like this on the road are things that help you work in that direction.”

Having a defense stand strong certainly helps.

“They were down our throats the first half,” Bridal said. “We made a couple of adjustments, and in the second half, we were right there. We’re continuing to knock on the front door, and eventually it’s going to open up wide for us.”

Carter Venvertloh gave the Blue Devils (5-2-1, 3-0 WB6) the lead late in the first half when he took a pass from Evan Altman, turned and laced a shot into the lower left side of the net just 2:06 before halftime.

“He’s turned out to be the finisher we need him to be,” Bridal said.

Quincy outshot UT 8-3 in the second half, but the Panthers had two corner kicks in the final 30 seconds of regulation to get a look at an equalizer. The Blue Devils were able to avoid any dangerous situations with goalkeeper Grayson Cook finishing with six saves.

“Conference championships aren’t necessarily won or lost in the last game of the season,” Bridal said. “They are won or lost in the third or fourth game in situations like this. So it’s always important to get a road win in this conference, especially with the shutout.”

Galesburg, which shocked defending champion Geneseo with a 2-1 victory Tuesday night, visits Flinn Stadium next Tuesday as the Blue Devils play three of their final four WB6 games at home.

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