Sunday, Nov. 21, 2010
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.
Mount Carmel staves off late rally
Vontrell Williams has heard the whispers about a Mount Carmel program that hasn't won a state title since 2002 and hasn't played in a state championship game since 2006.
He and his Caravan teammates answered the doubters on Saturday afternoon by beating Homewood-Flossmoor 28-21 in a Class 8A semifinal at Gately Stadium.
Mount Carmel (11-2) advanced to its 14th title game in 25 seasons under coach Frank Lenti and will play Maine South (11-2) in the 8A final next Saturday at Memorial Stadium in Champaign.
"We're proving Mount Carmel hasn't lost a step," said Williams, a junior defensive lineman who forced an H-F fumble in the closing seconds to help seal the win. "Like coach Frank Lenti always says, 'It's not our job to drop the tradition, it's our job to enhance the tradition."
The Caravan did that by limiting the damage done by H-F running back Malik Norman, who had rushed for 1,987 yards and 31 touchdowns before Saturday. He finished with 47 yards and one TD on 23 carries.
Lake Zurich advances to Championship
Lake Zurich's players came into Saturday's 7A semifinal with St. Rita expecting to win.
What the Bears didn't expect, and what St. Rita couldn't fathom, was a shutout. They got one, a 21-0 victory over the Mustangs, to vault them into next week's 7A championship game against Wheaton-Warrenville South.
"I'm on top of the world right now," rusher and defensive back Mike Shield said. "But nothing's over yet. We've still got to get that last thing. I guarantee we'll remember a lot more if we go down there and get that last victory."
Shield intercepted a Brendan Johnson pass to stop one St. Rita drive, plus scored the final Lake Zurich touchdown, and wasn't the only star for the Bears. Quarterback Zach Till ran for Lake Zurich's first touchdown in the first quarter and passed to Jon Mularz for another in the second quarter. Jacob Brinlee rushed for 75 yards on 20 carries.
The key, though, was in shutting down St. Rita's offense. En route to its fourth shutout of the season, the Bears' defense held rusher Jahwon Akui to 77 yards on 23 carries, and forced four turnovers, the last three on St. Rita's last three drives.
Curie wins Public League Championship
Despite the increasing controversy as to whether or not the Public League playoff champion should be called "city champs," Curie took care of the business at hand and joined the ranks of Public League champions for the first time ever with a 40-34 double over time victory over Morgan Park.
On a third-and-goal from the 2-yard line, Brandon Barker scored the game's winning touchdown as he recovered a fumble in the end zone.
The Mustangs sent the game into overtime with 3:31 remaining in the fourth quarter on a 10-yard run by quarterback Dae' Shaun Hurley, but instead of falling apart the Condors fought back. p>Curie scored first in over time on a 10-yard run by Kevonta McIntyre. Morgan Park responded with a nine-yard touchdown run by Hurley. In the second over time Hurley was stopped on fourth down at the 1-yard line. Curie ran two plays to the 2-yard line. But a fumble on third down set up Barkers heroics.
That was the hustle play of my life, said Barker. But thats the way we have been taught to play. Its something Ill never forget.
Barker scored an 18-yard touchdown run and caught a 12-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Reese Fleming Jr. earlier.
Fenwick captures Catholic League crown
Joe Kelly had an up-and-down night for Fenwick on Friday, or maybe it's better to call it down-and-up.
Three plays after fumbling away a punt, Kelly picked off a Brother Rice pass in the red zone to help seal a 7-3 win for Fenwick in the Catholic League title game at Toyota Park in Bridgeview.
Kelly had two of the five takeaways for the Fenwick defense as the Friars (7-5) advanced to the Prep Bowl for the first time since 1991. Fenwick will play the winner of Saturday's Public League championship game between Morgan Park and Curie Friday at Soldier Field.
Kelly recovered a Brother Rice fumble in the third quarter and then picked off a pass with 5:21 left in the fourth period. That came just moments after he mishandled a punt to give the Crusaders (6-6) a first down at the Fenwick 20.
"It wasn't my night in punt returns," Kelly said. "I didn't want to let my team down. I had to make a play to make up for it and I did that."
Rice got the ball back one more time after forcing a Fenwick punt, but fumbled it away on the next play and the Friars' Joe Di Somma recovered. Fenwick then ran out the clock.