Lake Zurich slows down Simeon; prevails


Lake Zurich slows down Simeon; prevails

Saturday, Nov. 13, 2010
11:08 PM

By Mike Clark
Twelve weeks into the season, someone finally figured out a way to slow down Simeon's high-powered offense.

No. 9 Lake Zurich turned the trick, limiting the Wolverines to one first down before halftime and no points till the fourth quarter Saturday.
Photos: Lake Zurich vs. Simeon

The Bears held off a spirited Simeon comeback to win 17-14 in a Class 7A quarterfinal at Gately Stadium, sending the Bears to the state semifinals for the fifth time in nine seasons. Lake Zurich (11-1) will play the St. RitaCarmel winner next weekend. No. 2 Simeon, seeking its first trip to the semis, finished 11-1.

"They came out trying to run the ball like a lot of teams do," Lake Zurich linebacker JJ Raffelson said. "We have a great run defense and we planned all week for that."

Simeon had four three-and-outs on its six possessions in the first three quarters, which ended with the Bears up 17-0.

"We could have done some things right in the first half that could have changed the game offensively," said Simeon coach Dante Culbreath, whose team came in averaging 51 points a game. "We couldn't execute, we didn't execute the first half. We just got started too late."

Lake Zurich, on the other hand, was clicking on offense all night even though Simeon was keying on senior running back Jacob Brinlee (21 carries, 72 yards). Fullback John Mularz, who suffered a torn MCL in practice earlier this season, gained a game-high 119 yards on 20 carries and Tim Sayre added 73 yards on eight carries.

"People are going to try to take Brinlee away and we've got to be able to have other guys step up," Lake Zurich coach Bryan Stortz said.

Brinlee's two-yard touchdown run with 12 seconds left in the first quarter was the only score of the first half. He scored from a yard out with 6:07 left in the third quarter to make it 14-0.

Lake Zurich's Chris Rantis intercepted Simeon's Robert Gregory (9-of-12, 131 yards) on the Wolverines' next possession and the Bears' Scott Walding kicked a 24-yard field goal on the last play of the third quarter, pushing the lead to 17-0.

The Bears' defense came up with another takeaway when Mike Rantis recovered a Simeon fumble. But an 11-yard punt into a stiff south wind set up the Wolverines at the Bears' 30 and Gregory hit Darius Scott with a touchdown pass on the next play, making it 17-7 with 8:13 to play.

A muffed snap on a punt gave Simeon good field position again, and once more the Wolverines converted. Gregory's 31-yard touchdown pass to Scott pulled Simeon within 17-14 with 2:59 to play. But Lake Zurich ran out the clock, getting first-down runs by Brinlee and Mularz.

"The game plan was to run down the clock as much as possible and we wanted to keep Simeon's offense off the field," Mularz said.

94 Days to Kickoff: Lyons Township


94 Days to Kickoff: Lyons Township preps reporter "Edgy" Tim O’Halloran spotlights 100 high school football teams in 100 days. The first 75 team profiles will focus on teams making strides across Chicagoland and elsewhere in the state. Starting Aug. 1, we’ll unveil the @CSNPreps Top 25 Power Rankings, leading up to kickoff on Friday, Aug. 26.

School: Lyons Township Lions

Head coach: Kurt Weinberg

Assistant coaches: Jon Beutjer, Bryan Bergman, Mike Morrison, Tim McAlpin, Kevin Diete, Sheldon Harris, Jason Brauer

How they fared in 2015: 5-5 (2-4) West Suburban Silver. The Lions made the Class 8A state playoff field. Lyons Township lost to New trier in the opening round.

Biggest storyline in 2016: Can the Lions reload on the offensive line?

Names to watch this season: QB Ben Bryant, WR Hasahn Austin, DL Mickey Brown

Biggest holes to fill: The Lions bring back 10 returning starters (four offense, six defense), but they will also need to replace all five starting offensive linemen lost to graduation.

EDGY's early take: Weinberg has led the Lions into the state playoff field in each season since taking over the program in 2009. I fully expect the Lions to again challenge for the conference crown and beyond. Lyons Township has some strong offensive skills back and if an inexperienced line play comes around beware.

Starters help White Sox bullpen maintain health for lengthy stretch


Starters help White Sox bullpen maintain health for lengthy stretch

The White Sox are at another point in their schedule where every inning is precious.

So even though they only managed a split in Monday’s doubleheader against the Cleveland Indians, the White Sox have to feel good not to have taxed their bullpen.

Mat Latos and Erik Johnson combined for 12.1 innings pitched and five relievers combined for another 5.1 on Monday for the White Sox, who are in the midst of a stretch of 17 games in 16 days. Given they have Chris Sale and Jose Quintana scheduled the next two games, the White Sox feel pretty fortunate at the midway point of their lengthy run.

“We didn’t really abuse anybody,” White Sox manager Robin Ventura said. “These doubleheaders can kind of get away from you and both sides probably had that. You get out of these things without having to use anybody in both games and extending anybody.”

With the way things had recently gone for Latos and Johnson’s command issues in his last start, Monday’s doubleheader could have been trouble for the White Sox bullpen.

Latos hadn’t completed six innings since April 24 and posted a 7.84 ERA in his last four starts. And in his only major league start this season, Johnson allowed four earned runs in five innings against the Boston Red Sox on May 5.

Not only do the White Sox have two more here against the Indians, they start a four-game series in Kansas City on Thursday and then head to Citi Field for three against the New York Mets. Only then do they have another day off.

Johnson made two early mistakes, but mostly followed in the footsteps of Latos, who delivered six innings in the opening game before he departed with a 6-3 lead courtesy of a three-run homer by Brett Lawrie.

While Johnson left a 3-0 fastball up to Rajai Davis and he ripped it for a two-run homer, which put Cleveland up 3-1 in the fifth, he faced only five over the minimum through six innings.

“EJ did a good job for us, we just weren’t really getting anything going,” Ventura said.

Johnson — who was optioned to Triple-A Charlotte after the start — entered the seventh inning at 93 pitches. With his team trailing by two, Ventura hoped to steal another inning from his right-hander. The Indians took advantage as Juan Uribe homered and scored another run off the combination of Johnson and reliever Matt Purke, who allowed a hit in 2.1 scoreless innings.

“You want to help the team out and save the bullpen as best you can, especially on these nine and nines,” Johnson said. “That’s your job as a starter for a regular nine inning game, whether it’s a doubleheader or not.

“I’m thankful for the opportunities and if they keep coming I’m going to keep coming back here.”

For now, the opportunity belongs to reliever Tommy Kahnle, whom was added as the 26th man before the doubleheader. By optioning Johnson to Charlotte, the White Sox will employ an eight-man bullpen.

Preview: Cubs look to snap losing streak vs. Cardinals on CSN


Preview: Cubs look to snap losing streak vs. Cardinals on CSN

The Cubs look to snap a three-game losing streak against the St. Louis Cardinals tonight, and you can catch all the action on Comcast SportsNet. Coverage begins with Cubs Pregame Live at 5:30 p.m. Then catch first pitch with Len Kasper and Jim Deshaies. Be sure to stick around after the final out to get analysis and player reaction on Cubs Postgame Live.

Today’s starting pitching matchup: Jason Hammel (5-1, 2.31 ERA) vs. Michael Wacha (2-4, 4.03 ERA)

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

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