Guido gives Warriors new dimension

Guido gives Warriors new dimension

Wednesday, Nov. 3, 2010
11:17 a.m.
By Jim Owzcarski
YourSeason.com
In winning its first playoff game since 2001, the Waubonsie Valley Warriors may have become an even more dangerous offensive team than the one that averaged nearly 30 points per game during the regular season.

On a chilly Friday night, the Warriors passing attack grounded itself with several dropped passes including one sure touchdown meaning the option running game was going to have to carry the load.

That said, one key contributor to that running game RBLB Devon Morgan had to focus more energy on defense to try and contain Brother Rices own two dynamic running backs.

That meant 5-foot, 8-inch sophomore Austin Guido suddenly became a workhorse. The 180-pounder proved he could be a feature back against a physical Crusaders defense, carrying the ball a career high 22 times for 211 yards and a touchdown in a 33-7 win.

Ive never gotten this many carries before, Guido said. Me (and Morgan) usually switch, but he didnt go in much so I knew that I had to carry my load and just run the ball hard.

While not a burner, Guidos initial burst through the line helped him average nearly a first down per carry, and he was able to run away from everyone on a 96-yard touchdown in the fourth quarter when he got to the edge and turned it up the field.

I could sense a guy behind me so I tried cutting in a little bit and he got an arm on me, but I broke it and scored, Guido said.

You have to assume Northwestern-bound tight end Mark Szott wont drop as many passes as he did Friday, and same with receiver Demitrius Gray. Guido proved he could carry the load, which will make QB Tommy Kolzow even more dangerous on rollouts and keepers.

A scintillating second round

This weekends games feature several contests that could be confused for semifinal games in all classes. In Class 3A, Aurora Christian (6-4) hosts title favorite Wilmington (10-0). Just two weeks ago, the Wildcats beat 4A Sandwich 34-14 and for the year, Wilmington is 5-0 against teams with larger enrollments.

In 4A, Geneseo (9-1) travels to Sandwich (9-1) in a game that could determine who goes to the state finals in that bracket. The Maple Leafs have won four state titles and finished second five other times, including last year. Expect a huge crowd Geneseo told Sandwich they would be bringing 1,500 people Saturday night.

In 6A, Geneva (8-2) travels to Lemont (10-0), but the Vikings might now be the favorite having won eight straight games. The Vikings have found a groove offensively averaging 44.5 points during that win streak including two consecutive 69-point efforts against Larkin in Week 9 and Oak Forest last week. The winner of that game will face the winner of Marmion Academy (9-1) at T.F. South (9-1), a game that will feature the Cadets power against the Rebels explosiveness.

Mr. Efficiency

Everyone knew Kaneland senior QB Joe Camiliere had a complete understanding of the Knights offense hes been running it on varsity for three years. But what hes been doing lately is truly unbelievable.

In the last two weeks, victories over Morris and King, Camiliere has completed an astounding 79 percent of his passes (22 for 28) for 458 yards and six TDs while throwing no interceptions.

Predictions, predictions

Beginning with last weeks first round playoff games, The Beacon-News ran predictions calculated by SportsMetrix, an algorithm-based program that can rank teams more accurately based on strength of schedule.

The program, developed by Aurora native and Sugar Grove resident Dr. Greg Rahn, was 6 for 7 in The Beacon-News coverage area, with its only wrong answer coming from Aurora Christians upset over Oregon on the road. The program picked the Eagles on a neutral field but there is weight given to homefield advantage and that fact led to the Hawks being given a slight edge.

To increase the sample size, SportsMetrix also predicted all of the games involving teams from The Beacon-News sister publications in Elgin, Naperville and weekly publications in Downers Grove, Bolingbrook and Wheaton. The formula correctly predicted 18 of the 19 games, including the upset victories of Neuqua Valley over Downers Grove South and Naperville North over Marist in Class 8A.

For more information on the college and high school rankings calculated by Dr. Rahn, visit www.sportsmetrix.net.

State finals online

The IHSA announced Monday that all eight of the state championship games will be carried live on ESPN3.com on Nov. 26-27. It is first time ESPN has broadcast a high school state final event in any sport on any of the networks platforms.

The championship games will be broadcast on local television via the IHSA TV Network and ESPN3.com will carry the live television feed from all eight contests, which can be accessed via www.ESPN3.com

The IHSAs streaming portal, www.IHSA.tv, will not carry the games live, but will have each contest archived after its conclusion.

Five Things to Watch: Blackhawks host Lightning tonight on CSN

Five Things to Watch: Blackhawks host Lightning tonight on CSN

Watch as the Blackhawks take on the Tampa Bay Lightning tonight on CSN and streaming live on CSNChicago.com. Coverage begins at 7 p.m. with Blackhawks Pregame Live. Then stick around after the final buzzer to watch Blackhawks Postgame Live for highlights and analysis.

Click here to watch the game or download the NBC Sports App, your home for live streaming coverage of the Blackhawks.

Five Things to Watch:

1. Grab the first goal.

The Blackhawks have scored the game's first goal in seven of the last eight games, and of those seven, they've won six of them. Meanwhile, the Lightning have scored the first goal only 17 times in 48 games this season, and are 12-5-1 in those games. They're 9-17-4 when they allow the first goal, so getting out to a lead first will be important against a struggling Lightning team looking for signs of life.

2. Will the floodgates open for Jonathan Toews?

After a four-point game in a 4-2 win over Vancouver, the Blackhawks captain matched his point total over his previous nine games. He's up to 26 points on the season, which is now fifth among Chicago forwards. When Toews has offensive droughts, they usually last longer than they should. But when he gets hot, he gets extremely hot. Perhaps we'll see the floodgates open offensively.

3. A chance for the team lead in scoring.

With an empty-net goal on Sunday, Marian Hossa tied Artem Anisimov for the team-lead with 18 goals. Artemi Panarin is right behind with 17, and Patrick Kane isn't far either at 15. The Blackhawks had four 20-goal scorers last season, and haven't had more than that since the 2013-14 season. They're definitely on pace to hit four, but could they surprass that? Richard Panik, who scored another goal Sunday as well, is fifth with 11 goals while Ryan Hartman has 10. Toews is at eight, but a flurry after a drought could make things interesting.

4. The triplets reunited?

In an effort to jumpstart a struggling offense, Lightning coach Jon Cooper reunited the triplets line of Tyler Johnson, Nikita Kucherov and Ondrej Palat that was so successful during their 2015 playoff run in their latest game, a 5-3 loss to Arizona. It's unclear whether they will begin tonight's game on the same line, but if not, it's worth watching throughout the game whether they do. The Blackhawks have been coming at opponents in waves lately, so Cooper could look to separate the three to distribute the scoring.

5. Take advantage on special teams.

The Lightning have racked up the fifth-most penalty minutes in the league, and own a bottom-10 penalty kill unit at 80.1 percent. The Blackhawks are the second-least penalized team, and have converted on 17.9 percent of their power plays, which sits at 16th. But they haven't scored one on the man advantage in five straight games, going 0-for-9 during that span. Here's a chance to change that.

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Report: Cubs preparing to roll the dice with Brett Anderson

Report: Cubs preparing to roll the dice with Brett Anderson

The Cubs are preparing to roll the dice with Brett Anderson, hoping the talented, frequently injured pitcher can stay healthy and provide insurance for their rotation.

Anderson posted a telling message on his Twitter account on Monday night, hinting at what would be another offseason check mark for the defending World Series champs.

The physical for the agreement — first reported by Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports and MLB Network — won't just be a formality as Anderson underwent back surgery last March and appeared in only four games for the Los Angeles Dodgers last season.

But Anderson fits on paper as a left-hander who will turn only 29 on Feb. 1 and won't have to carry front-of-the-rotation responsibilities or feel Opening Day urgency on a team with five projected starters.

The Cubs had been willing to gamble around $6 million on Tyson Ross, who recently signed a similarly structured one-year deal with the Texas Rangers as he recovers from surgery to address thoracic outlet syndrome.

The calculus would essentially be the same with Anderson. The Cubs have to factor in last year's grueling playoff run into early November, this season's sky-high expectations, the organization's lack of high-end, upper-level pitching prospects and the uncertainty surrounding the 2018 rotation.

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Anderson finished sixth in the 2009 American League Rookie of the Year voting with the Oakland A's, but he's reached the 30-start mark only one other time and never accounted for 200 innings in a single season.

Anderson underwent Tommy John surgery in the middle of the 2011 season, and the injuries piled up from there, dealing with a strained right oblique, a stress fracture in his right foot and a broken left index finger.

Anderson had such a fragile reputation that he accepted the one-year, $15.8 million qualifying offer from the Dodgers after a strong platform year in 2015 (10-9, 3.69 ERA). The Dodgers only got 11 1/3 innings out of Anderson, who didn't pitch during a playoff run that ended at Wrigley Field in the National League Championship Series.

The Cubs stayed exceptionally healthy while winning 200 games across the last two seasons and need to be prepared in case John Lackey sharply declines at the age of 38 or Mike Montgomery experiences growing pains while transitioning from the bullpen.

Whether or not Anderson is ultimately the answer, the Cubs will be looking to place a sixth starter into their plans.

"I don't know if a six-man rotation on a permanent basis is the wave of the future," team president Theo Epstein said earlier this winter. "But we certainly endorse it on a temporary basis as a nice way to pace guys for the whole season.

"We can get them some rest, whether you do it in April to preserve depth and ease guys into the season, especially after a deep October and November run. Or after the All-Star break in the summer to kind of get through the dog days and give guys a little bit of a breather as you ramp up for the stretch run.

"I think it would be tough to pull off all season long. But it's something that (could certainly work) in the right spot."