Lost, but then found

  • Written by Ken Karrson

Last-second score lifts Mustangs over Titans 

 File this one in the lost-and-found category.

  What was nearly lost Friday night in Tinley Park was a game visiting Evergreen Park appeared to have firmly in hand midway through the fourth quarter. But a 21-7 lead disappeared in the span of five minutes, courtesy of two Titans touchdowns and a safety.
  Found by the Mustangs in the final 1:08, however, was their footing. With their perfect record on the verge of being sullied, Evergreen athletes dug deep one last time and made another march downfield that took them all the way to Tinley’s 5-yard line.
  Just enough seconds remained for Mustangs kicker Matt Schulte to then boot a 22-yard field goal and lift his team to an unexpectedly stressful 24-22 triumph in a South Suburban Conference crossover game.

Taking a fresh(man) approach

  • Written by Ken Karrson

Cougars’ kids play pivotal roles in win over Eagles

 This winning is kid stuff.

No one within the St. Xavier University football program actually takes success for granted, but most of the Cougars’ achievements over the past decade have been realized through the efforts of seasoned performers. Rarely during that span has SXU had to rely heavily on contributions from younger athletes.

  That’s not the case in 2013, however, especially on the offensive side, where nine redshirt or true freshmen have already logged significant playing time. Understandably, that’s resulted in a few hiccups — against NCAA Division II power University of Indianapolis, for example, the Cougars were guilty of five turnovers.
  And even in Saturday night’s Mid-States Football Association crossover game with Robert Morris University, SXU’s offense was less than dynamic through the opening half. The Cougars carried a 17-10 lead with them into intermission, but they needed a trick play to grab that advantage just before the break.
  In addition, a fumble deep in SXU territory had given the Eagles their touchdown.
  “They’re getting an opportunity [to play] earlier than they would have in other years,” Cougars coach Mike Feminis said of his younger guys, “and we know there’s going to be mistakes made. But we’re not using their age as an excuse.

An A-plus for the ‘D’

  • Written by Ken Karrson

Bulldogs stay perfect by shutting down Astros

  Score an A-plus for Richards’ “D” Friday night in Palos Heights.
  While the Bulldogs’ offense wasn’t bad, either, Richards coach Tony Sheehan saw enough flaws to resist giving it a similarly high grade. The same thing couldn’t be said of the visitors’ prevention corps, which completely hamstrung host Shepard.
  Already struggling to develop a consistent attack before meeting up with their District 218 and South Suburban Conference Red rival, the Astros found no answers opposite the Bulldogs, who not only pitched a shutout but also held Shepard to less than 70 total yards.
  “Offensively, it’s a tough deal,” said Astros coach Dominic Passolano, whose squad got tagged with a 29-0 setback. “We started to get some drives going, but their linebackers are fast. We’d get to the outside and they’d run us down.”

Taming of the Tigers

  • Written by Ken Karrson

Eagles manage to squeeze past high-powered Joliet Central

  Instead of the usual whip, chair and gun, Sandburg used a forced fumble, interception and unexpectedly robust offense to do some Tiger-taming Saturday afternoon.
  The big cats in question hailed from Joliet West, and the danger they presented to the Eagles was a ferocious passing attack. Tigers quarterback Anthony DiNardo completed 32 of his 55 throws for a whopping 452 yards, numbers that would normally spell disaster for defense-oriented Sandburg.
  “I’m an old-school guy who likes games [with] 14-10 or 17-14 [scores],” Eagles coach Dave Wierzal said. “When you’re doing that last guy-with-the-ball-wins [thing], that’s not what I want.
  “We knew we were facing a team that could generate a lot of offense. Our concern was that it would turn into a shootout and we’d have to outscore them.”
  That’s exactly how the SouthWest Suburban Conference Blue contest shook out, but much to Wierzal’s surprise, his guys were equal to the task. In fact, they were a little better than their high-powered hosts.


At least a few moments worth remembering

  Where were you when?
  That question gets raised every time the anniversary date of a significant world event comes back around. For Baby Boomers, nothing may be more frequently asked than their whereabouts on the day President John F. Kennedy was assassinated.
  The first moon landing in 1969 receives similar recall treatment, as does the Challenger explosion in 1986, the latter largely because so many people witnessed the craft’s takeoff on television and then, sadly, its fiery demise.
  Of course, a more recent example of a where-were-you-when moment was the 9/11 terrorist attacks in 2001.