Wednesday, Nov. 3, 2010
By Jim Owzcarski
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.
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.
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.