First not the last

  • Written by Ken Karrson

RedHawks declaw Cougars to begin playoffs

  For once, Marist’s first playoff game wasn’t also its last.
  Ever since the RedHawks advanced all the way to the Class 8A title contest in 2009, the postseason has not been good to them. Three straight opening-round losses sent Marist away unfulfilled each time, and before Friday night’s matchup with Plainfield South had gone very far, a similar fate looked to be a distinct possibility.
  The RedHawks committed turnovers on their first two offensive possessions, and one of them laid the groundwork for a Cougars touchdown. Josh Harris scored it on a 40-yard run.
  “That was not the start that we wanted,” Marist coach Pat Dunne said. “But we’re zeroed in on this year’s team, not what happened before. We’ve been in a lot of different situations this year, so [our players] didn’t hang their heads.”

Double trouble

  • Written by Ken Karrson

H-F ends Eagles’ season in playoff opener

  The third time may be the charm, but the second time just meant more harm done to Sandburg.
  Twice wasn’t any nicer for the Eagles, who had already dropped one game to Homewood-Flossmoor during the 2013 season. While Sandburg was able to recover from that Oct. 4 setback and soldier on, the Eagles’ latest defeat must be taken into the offseason.
  That’s where the Vikings made sure Sandburg was headed after doling out a 49-14 loss Friday night in Flossmoor in a Class 8A playoff opener. Although the final score bore an eerie resemblance to H-F’s earlier 48-10 triumph, Eagles coach Dave Wierzal insisted things weren’t quite so bad for his squad the second time around.
  And based on the first half of the rematch, that certainly seemed true. In fact, after Jim Robley raced 11 yards for a second-quarter touchdown, Sandburg found itself in arrears by just seven points.

Foxes in a hole

  • Written by Ken Karrson

Bulldogs pitch shutout at Yorkville

  These Foxes got thrown to the wolves.
  Actually, it was a pack of Bulldogs Yorkville faced off with Saturday night, but the result wasn’t any less fatal to the Foxes in a football sense. Determined to prove that its Week 9 struggle to subdue District 218 sister school Eisenhower was simply a fluke, Richards unleashed a marauding band of defenders at Korhonen Field.
  And just as they had done against four other opponents in the regular season, the Bulldogs refused entry into their own end zone. In fact, Yorkville ventured inside Richards’ 40-yard line just once during the evening, hardly the kind of production the Foxes needed to have a shot at upending the Bulldogs.
  Instead, Richards advanced out of its first-round Class 6A playoff contest with little difficulty. Scoring twice within the first 3½ minutes and seven times before intermission, the Bulldogs forced a running clock to be used over the final two periods as they overpowered Yorkville 44-0.
  The win set Richards (9-1) up for a rematch with Argo, a 14-12 victor over Oak Forest in Round 1, Saturday night in Oak Lawn. The Bulldogs blanked the Argonauts 27-0 in a regular-season road encounter, one of only two defeats suffered by the Summit-based school thus far in 2013.
  “It wasn’t a complete surprise for them to pull that out,” Richards coach Tony Sheehan said of Argo’s playoff triumph over the Bengals. “Argo’s played well all year. It’s not like they snuck in and squeezed by.”

Rocket-fueled takeoff

  • Written by Ken Karrson

Mustangs down R-B to move on in playoffs

  The Rockets were left sitting on the launching pad Saturday night.
  Evergreen Park saw to that by never allowing visiting Richmond-Burton to hold a lead in the teams’ first-round Class 4A playoff contest. The two are familiar foes, having met in each of the past three postseasons, but the Mustangs now own a 2-1 series edge after knocking off the Rockets 33-17.
  The win was Evergreen’s sixth in tournament play since Dan Hartman became its head coach in 2011. That’s one more than the Mustangs garnered in all of their previous playoff appearances combined.


About some things we don’t know spit

  Every once in a while, reporters have to ask the hard questions.
  Sure, it’d be nice if every story had a gift-wrapped ending and all queries were easily answered. But journalistic life doesn’t often play out quite so seamlessly.
  So we ask, hoping to get a reasonable response from a believable source. (Political reporters need not bother because no one should be forced to waste so much time waiting in vain.)
  Here are a few things that recently popped into my mind and had nowhere else to go except out of my ear and onto this page:
  • Why do we always have to look at loogies during baseball’s postseason?
  We’ve come to expect expectoration whenever we watch October baseball on TV. Thank God for the networks it’s not a sweeps month, but that doesn’t mean the rest of us wish to be treated to so many spittin’ images.