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"Cranberry, or bearberry (because bears use much to feed upon them), is a small, trayling plant that grows in salt marshes that are overgrown with moss. The tender branches, which are reddish, run out in great length lying flat on the ground ... The leaves are like box, but greener thick and glistening. The blossoms are very like the flowers of our English night-shade; after which succeed the berries, hanging by long, small foot-stalks no bigger than a hair. At first they are of a pale-yellow colour; afterward red and as big as a cherry ... Of a sower, astringent taste. They are excellent against the scurvy. They are good to allay the fervour of hot diseases. The Indians and English use them much, boyling them with sugar for sauce to eat with their meat; and it is a delicate sauce especially with roasted mutton."

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Missiles Fall Short in State Semifinals

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Missiles Fall Short in State Semifinals

MILLEDGEVILLE ­ Host Milledgeville went out in front 18-0, but couldn't maintain its momentum Saturday versus Stark County. The Rebels scored 27 straight points en route to a 27-24 win. Stark County's come-from-behind triumph dashed Milledgeville's hopes of making their first state championship appearance. The Missiles fired on all cylinders early on.

Twelve seconds into the state semifinal game against 10th-seeded Toulon Stark County, the top-seeded Missiles had the lead. After 6:17 had gone by, they led by 18 and seemed on their way to the state title game.

Jake Workman returned the opening kickoff 79 yards for a touchdown. After the Rebels went 3-and-out, Workman brought back Stark County's first punt 30 yards to set up a 1-yard score by all-state quarterback Kirk Engelkens.

Kurt Landis blocked the next Stark County punt. That set up a 17-yard scoring drive for the Missiles, this one a Greg Fredericks' 15-yard run with 5:43 left in the first half.

Late in the first period, a 41-yard punt by Nate Ebersole pinned the Rebels at their 1. That's when the comeback began.

The Rebels climbed to within five at halftime and came just a yard short of taking the lead. After getting the ball with 40.7 seconds to play in the half at Milledgeville's 40, the Rebels drove to the one with 0.5 seconds showing on the clock.

Daum (17-for-41, 324 yards) dropped back to pass, but Missiles defensive end Kurt Landis brought him down with a leaping sack to preserve the Missiles lead at halftime.

"It might have been too good," Milledgeville coach Gary Hartje said. "We kind of relaxed a little bit . . . when we went up 18-0. We should have known by how hard it was to pound it in when we got it down there."

The Missiles lost that lead in the third quarter, as the Rebels offense, led by a strong passing effort by quarterback Greg Daum, reeled off 27 straight points.

Veteran Coach Hartje, who has announced his retirement after 30 years at the Missiles helm, couldn't have foreseen the stellar comeback effort Stark County put together. Running a spread offense that featured four receivers, Stark County started to pick apart the Milledgeville defensive unit.

Rebels receivers Tanner Ewing and Calvin Lewis were able to go up and haul in passes over the shorter Milledgeville defensive unit. Lewis (6-5) hauled in six catches for 95 yards and two touchdowns. Ewing had a game-high seven catches for 130 yards.

Stark County quarterback Greg Daum completed 17-of-41 passes for 324 yards. Daum's 41 pass attempts rank second in Illinois high school Class A history.

Milledgeville quarterback Kirk Engelkens completed five-of-15 passes for 133 yards and one touchdown. Engelkens and teammates battled until the end, falling just short of reaching the state title game.

The Missiles were driving late versus Stark County when a fumble ended a promising offensive series. Milledgeville, however, got the ball back when defensive end Ryan Imel forced and recovered a Daum fumble with 1:55 remaining. The Missiles took over on offense at the Stark County 20-yard line. After moving the ball with a couple of completions, Engelkens was eventually sacked on fourth down as time ran out on the Missiles. Stark County managed to keep pressure on the Milledgeville signal-caller all day.

Stark County ran a spread offense with four wide receivers that mainly took to the air but also mixed in option runs and draws effectively.

"We knew we were in trouble when they started balancing up and throwing the ball as well as they did," Hartje said. "(Ewing) was killing us on those flag patterns.

The kids did the best they could. That kind of got us at the end. They took momentum from us, and we never did get it back," Hartje added.

It was a tough way to end one of the best season's in Milledgeville's history, and Coach Hartje's final game.

It will be the first title-game appearance for Stark County (10-3) since a runner-up 1A finish to Galena in 1997. For this year's title, Stark County will face Concord Triopia/Meredosia-Chambersburg (13-0) at 10 a.m. Friday, Nov. 28, in Champaign.

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