ARCOLA -- With 104 games of one of the oldest rivalries in the state of Illinois Arcola and Tuscola have had their share of upsets. 

The two teams are to meet Friday at 7 p.m. at Memorial Field in Tuscola for the first time since 2011 and the first regular season game since 2006. 

Tuscola leads the series 54-44-6 and have won 11 straight games, which is the most by the Warriors in the series. The most consecutive wins for Arcola was 11 from 1983-1993.

While arguably Tuscola's biggest upset occurred in 1962 with a 13-7 win.

Here is a look back at some of the upsets by the Purple Riders:

1931: Arcola 6, Tuscola 0

The Champaign News-Gazette predicted a six touchdown win for Tuscola, who was undefeated at the time and had only allowed two touchdowns in seven games. Arcola was 1-3-1 in the Okaw Conference and 3-5-1 overall. It was scoreless going into the fourth quarter. Phillip 'Turkey' Ray and Dick Garrett blocked a Tuscola punt with Garrett recovering on the Tuscola 28. On fourth and 10 Arcola quarterback Paul Wilson hit Lowell Thompson who raced along the sidelines, shook two tacklers and slid into the end zone. The News Gazette called it the greatest upset in Central Illinois for the season. The loss cost Tuscola the conference title, which went to Sullivan. Other players for Arcola included Clearance 'Blimp' Miller, Bill Herrington, Vernon and Harvey Pullen, Claude Munson and Frank Clark. 

1934: Arcola 13, Tuscola 0

Earl Miller scored on a one-yard run and caught a 22-yard pass from John Clark. Robert Foster caught the extra point pass (then worth one point) from Clark. It was the second of six straight by Arcola in the series. It was also the first of four games that Tuscola didn't score. 

1950: Arcola 12, Tuscola 9

Nov. 6, 1950. Tuscola was a heavy favorite due to the speed of Dick Helm, Denny Barber, Andy Flanigan and Chub Keiss. The Warriors were looking for their 11th straight victory against Arcola. The Tuscola American Legion would present a traveling trophy to the winner of the game and would have former University of Illinois football coach Bob Zuppke present the trophy at a dance after the game at the Tuscola Armory. The losing team would receive a football signed by the Illinois football team. The Illini went 7-2 and finished No. 13 in the nation under Ray Elliott. 

Tuscola led 7-6 at the half although Arcola scored first on their opening drive. Duane Strader scored on a 68-yard run over right tackle Ed Fidley. Strader finished with six carries for 94 yards. Bill Sargent scored the game-winning points on a four-yard run to culminated a drive that started at its own 41.  Sargent appeared to be stopped two-yards behind the line of scrimmage, but broke away from one tackler and straight-armed another and scored. 

Helm finished with 17 carries for 67 yards. 

Arcola's Dale Gibson was injured in the final quarter, while trying for the extra point and was talked out temporarily. Sophomore Hampton Parker was put into the game by coach Andy Sullivan. 

"If you get in there and play football for the rest of the game, I will letter you," said Sullivan. 

Parker replied, "Don't worry about me." He tackled Helm after a 37-yard run at the Arcola 34.

Sargent asked Sullivan at halftime what do about the double laterals Tuscola was throwing on end runs. Sullivan said, "What could I say. He was already handling them like an All-American."

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Monday was a day of celebration at Arcola High School as there was an assembly and in the afternoon a party was held for the students. 

1995: Arcola 7, Tuscola 6

Sept. 29, 1995 at Tuscola on their Homecoming. Not really an upset as Arcola was ranked 10th in Class 1A, but it was one of the closest games in the series (Tuscola snapped Arcola's 11-game wining streak in 1994 8-0. Since 1995 only the 1998 (Tuscola 22, Arcola 21) and 1999 (Tuscola 13, Arcola 7) have been decided by six points or less. It was also Tuscola's Fred Wakefield's senior year. Wakefield went on to play at Illinois and play in the NFL. 

The Purple Riders had not lost at Tuscola since 1973 (28-8) going into the game. Over 2,500 in attendance. 

Tuscola scored first on a one-yard run by Josh Leamon with 5:54 left in the first quarter. The snap for the extra point was high and Leaman's pass fell incomplete. 

Arcola scored with 10:35 in the second quarter on a one-yard run by John Foran, who finished with 31 carries for 150 yards. Valente Garcia booted what turned out to be the game-winning point. 

Arcola's defense held Tuscola to 102 total yards, well below their average of 329. The Warriors drove 56 yards in the final 53 seconds with Arcola's Barry Pullen making a tackle  on Kyle Mills, who gained nine yards on a pass from Leamon. Tuscola coach Stan Wienke thought it was a first down, which would have stopped the clock. The Warriors tried to down the ball and were going to have Ryan Hornaday attempt a 42-yard field goal. The clock read 0:00 and the horn sounded prior to the attempt at downing the ball giving the Purple Riders the thrilling victory. 

1997: Arcola 62, Tuscola 26

Sept. 26, 1997 at Arcola. Arcola was No. 4 in Class 1A and Tuscola No. 4 in Class 2A. It was the last time the Purple Riders beat the Warriors. 

Arcola led 16-0 after one quarter as Adam Whitson scored on runs of three and 27 yards. Steve Wagoner caught the first two-point conversion pass from Brad Pullen  and Jeremy Snyder caught the second one, also from Pullen. 

The Purple Rider offensive line of Josh Headrick, Andy Petty, Aldo Garcia, Justin Miller and Luis Mendoza helped lead the way for Arcola to gain 459 yards rushing on 53 carries. Kolin Peterson had 21 carries for 194 yards and three touchdowns (62, 18 and 41 yards), while Whitson had 21 carries for 170 yards and three touchdowns (3, 27 and 58 yards).  

Tuscola's Dusty Burk scored the first touchdown with 7:10 left in the half, making it 24-6. Burk, who averaged 27-of-47 for 362 and four touchdowns was held to 16-of-31 for 173 yards. 

Arcola led 40-12 at the half. 

Peterson's 18 yard run in the third quarter gave Arcola a 54-12 lead and a running clock in the first year of the 'mercy rule.'

Wagner led the Purple Rider defense with seven solos and five assists. 

"We worked hard on our game plan which was to play them tight and aggressive," said Arcola coach Joe Marks (in an article in the Arcola Record-Herald). "The defense did a heck of a job. I thought Jeremiah Snyder and Travis Drake did a super job at cornerback. They were physical with the receivers and that was the key."

Arcola outgained Tuscola 470-268 in front of over 2,000 fans. 

Contact Mike Monahan at mmonahan@jg-tc.com  or (217) 238-6854. Follow him on Twitter: @monahanmikejgtc


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Sports writer

Mike Monahan covers area sports for the JG-TC.

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