Comeback kids: 16 point rally lifts Maine South

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Comeback kids: 16 point rally lifts Maine South

Saturday, Nov. 20, 2010
11:20 PM

By Matt Harness
YourSeason.com

Jimmy Frankos called Saturday's 29-22 win over Loyola in Wilmette the best game he's ever played in.

It's not hard to believe him after the Hawks scored 16 points in the game's final 2:43 to come from behind to beat the Ramblers and earn the Park Ridge program's third consecutive trip to the Class 8A championship game.

"We stuck with it," said the junior, who kicked three field goals. "That's probably the best game in Maine South history."

After sophomore quarterback Matt Alviti scored on a three-yard run to get Maine South within 22-19, junior linebacker Tyler Fahey recovered Spencer Perry's fumble in the end zone on Loyola's first play of the next series.

Loyola junior quarterback Malcolm Weaver, whose 64-yard touchdown run with 5:09 seemingly put the game out of reach at 22-13, then fumbled the ball away on a sack. The Ramblers turned the ball over four times in the second half that resulted in 13 points.

Frankos followed Weaver's turnover with a career-long 43-yard field goal. But the Ramblers, who trailed 10-0 in the first half, weren't finished, either.

Peter Pujals, in for an injured Weaver, marched Loyola all the way to the five-yard line. The game ended when Connor Klein leaped over the line to swat down Pujals' final pass.

"I'm still in shock," said Klein, who started on last season's title team. "Nobody hung their heads when we were down. We just came up big in the end. It was awesome."

Maine South coach Dave Inserra admitted some nervousness when Loyola got a two-point conversion to put the Ramblers up two scores at 22-13. "Being down nine there was a little scary," he said.

Maine South (11-2) went up 13-7 midway through the third quarter on Frankos' 33-yard field goal.

But Weaver, who ran nine times for 78 yards, willed the Ramblers (11-2) to the lead with two scores in the fourth quarter. He left the game for good with a leg injury after his fumble. Weaver struggled against Maine South's secondary, finishing 5-for-21 for 42 yards and two interceptions.

Perry carried the ball 20 times for 72 yards. His longest run of the afternoon was nine yards.

Alviti didn't have his best game, but he performed when it mattered most. He went 18-for-42 for 242 yards. Scott Derrick caught eight passes for 152 yards.

"I too pumped up to think," said junior running back Paul Preston, who only rushed 12 times for 20 yards. He scored the game's first points.

"That was a great turnaround. It shows our heart."

The growing problem with high school football scheduling

The growing problem with high school football scheduling

Last Friday afternoon Joliet Catholic loaded its team and coaches into "yellow rockets" and headed to Franklin, Wis., on Opening Night. Both Lincoln-Way East and Lincoln-Way Central headed to Indiana to play games.

Hinsdale Central hosted American Fork. American Fork, located just south of Salt Lake City, traveled to Hinsdale play the Red Devils.

Play in a conference such as the DuPage Valley, which needs to find non-conference games outside of the first two weeks of the season? Then much like Waubonsie Valley (Week 7 @ Fishers (Hamilton Southeastern), Neuqua Valley (Week 5 at Indianapolis Bishop Chartard) or Naperville Central (Week 6 at national power Lakewood Ohio St. Edward) you too will be on the road out-of-state.

Finding a few non-conference games to play is becoming an adventure.

Scheduling continues to be a growing problem for many IHSA football programs. Between the pressures of getting into the state playoffs along with a conference system that also seems to be imploding by the week state-wide, something needs to get sorted out sooner than later.

How about some possible solutions?

Some have suggested expanding the IHSA state playoff field, thus making the need to schedule "five wins to get in" less of a focus for teams across the state. Yet ask any high school coach and a large majority of them have a real issue with an "everyone-gets-in" system. Letting everyone into the IHSA state football playoffs would ease scheduling but also eliminates what many coaches feel makes the IHSA football playoffs special, which is making a regular season schedule actually count.

Conferences? These days more and more conferences, many of which have decades of history and tradition, are breaking apart. From the North and Western suburbs, which have already seen new realignments to the soon-to-be powder keg located in the South and Southwestern suburbs, expect even more scrambling for teams to find games.

How about letting the IHSA take over scheduling? Again some have suggested that the IHSA handle state-wide scheduling and make football much like other IHSA sports, such as football conferences becoming more like regionals. Yet this plan would eliminate well established conferences such as the Chicago Catholic League and others who would want to maintain its history.

Yet one thing seem to becoming much clearer these days as more and more schools head to all points to play games: something needs to change when it comes to scheduling.

Preview: Cubs wrap up series with Pirates on CSN

Preview: Cubs wrap up series with Pirates on CSN

The Cubs wrap up their three-game series with the visiting Pittsburgh Pirates on Wednesday night at Wrigley Field, and you can catch all the action on CSN. Coverage from the North Side starts at 7 p.m., and be sure to stick around following the final out for reaction and analysis on Cubs Postgame Live.

Starting pitching matchup: Jason Hammel (13-7, 3.21 ERA) vs. Ryan Vogelsong (3-3, 3.02 ERA)

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Preview: Chris Sale, White Sox close out series with Tigers on CSN

Preview: Chris Sale, White Sox close out series with Tigers on CSN

The White Sox close out their series against the Detroit Tigers Wednesday, and you can catch all the action on CSN. Coverage begins with White Sox Pregame Live at 11:30 a.m. Be sure to stick around after the final out to get analysis and player reaction on White Sox Postgame Live.

Today’s starting pitching matchup: Chris Sale (15-7, 3.14 ERA) vs. Justin Verlander (14-7, 3.33 ERA)

Click here for a game preview to make sure you’re ready for the action.  

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— Channel finder: Make sure you know where to watch.

— Latest on the White Sox: All of the most recent news and notes.

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