Terrell puts up big numbers for Crete-Monee

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Terrell puts up big numbers for Crete-Monee

Crete-Monee coach Jerry Verde can be excused if he is tempted to shout "I told you so" to the many naysayers who said he was "full of baloney" when he opted to convert Marcus Terrell from wide receiver to quarterback two years ago.

As a junior, Terrell passed for 2,800 yards while leading Crete-Monee to a 10-1 record. As a 6-foot-2, 175-pound senior, he is even more prolific. Going into Saturday night's Class 6A semifinal at Lemont, he has completed 192 of 282 passes for 2,818 yards and 36 touchdowns for the 12-0 Warriors.

Crete-Monee has so many weapons that it is easy to overlook Terrell. The Warriors are averaging 40 points per game while allowing only 8.4. They haven't scored fewer than 30 points in any game and only two opponents have scored more than one touchdown.

Treadwell, touted as the best uncommitted senior in the nation, has caught 68 passes for 1,219 yards and 14 touchdowns. He plays to take his allotted five official visits--Ole Miss, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, Notre Dame, Florida and Ohio State are on his list--but he has put recruiting on the backburner until the season is over.

"One of the great things he has done in the playoff is put recruiting on the side," Verde said. "His whole focus is on the team and the playoff. He is just a great football player. We had him at outside linebacker in the second round. He was pivotal in beating Peoria Richwoods. He made a big interception to change the game when things started to go wrong. He made huge stops on defense from the end spot. He also has made 16 of 17 extra points. And he kicks off, too."

But Crete-Monee has other college prospects on its roster. Nyles Morgan, a 6-foot-2, 220-pound linebacker, is one of the leading players in the class of 2015. He has offers from Illinois, Northwestern, Ohio State, Michigan State, Notre Dame, Oklahoma, UCLA, Purdue and Vanderbilt.

"Without a doubt, he is a fantastic linebacker," Verde said. "He has all the tools. Physically, he can do what no one can do at the inside linebacker position that I have seen...speed, physical, cover, understanding the game. He is an honor student. He does a lot of things right. As a junior, his game is ready for college, physically and mentally. He could be as big a prospect as Treadwell when it is all said and done."

Verde also singles out 6-foot-1, 180-pound senior wide receiver Lance Lenoir, who has caught 50 passes for 918 yards and 14 touchdowns. A three-year starter, Lenoir made the mistake of attending a combine, where he was timed in 4.7 seconds for 40 yards and turned off some recruiters.

What about Treadwell?

"I don't know why he isn't a bigger recruit," Verde said. "He is hearing only from state schools. He scored 30 on his ACT and could be an Ivy Leaguer. But he still is hoping some things will shake loose. I feel he can play in the MAC. I don't know if he is a Big Ten quarterback. But I don't know why he doesn't get more attention."

As freshmen, Terrell played wide receiver with Treadwell at quarterback. But Verde switched them as sophomores, figuring Treadwell "could do more damage at wide receiver and also play on defense."

Terrell didn't have a good summer going into his junior year and Verde crossed his fingers as the youngster opened the season against Thornton Fractional South.

"I was hoping he would be a Kyle Orton and manage the game," Verde said. "But he took it over. He executed the offense at a high level, so good that after the first four games we knew we had something special.

"He is a very cerebral player. He has speed and size to get it done. I try to point college coaches in his direction. Maybe they don't take him seriously because he has such great receivers to throw to."

Terrell isn't disappointed or frustrated by the recruiting process. He is just focusing on this season. "If we do what we are supposed to do, it will come when it comes. I feel I am good enough to play at the Division I level. I want to play at the highest level I can," he said.

He is motivated by last year's 51-36 loss to Peoria Richwoods in the second round of the state playoff.

"This is a harder working team than last year," Terrell said. "Last year, we didn't focus on making ourselves better every week. This year, we are focused on getting better every week and preparing to play later in the season. We have great players everywhere on the field and I feel confident I can get the ball in their hands.

"Another thing, this team sticks together, even when things go bad. Last year, we weren't as much of a team as this year. This year, I understand the game more, how to attack defenses, be more consistent than last year. I try to play at a top level every time I am on the field, not as many down games or long stretches where I play badly."

He still can't get last year's loss to Peoria Richwoods out of his mind. "It took away our season. We started slow. We came out and didn't execute plays in the first half. We were down by 30 points. Plays that should have been made, simple plays, I didn't execute. It has motivated me to do better this season," he said.

Terrell, who spent all summer working out with his receiving corps of Treadwell, Lenoir, Darius Thomas, Kyle Tilley, Deshaun Smith and Deshaun Duncan, realized in Week 2 against Marian Catholic that this team was different than a year ago.

"Everything was going bad but we didn't fall apart," he said. "We battled back and came out on top (30-7). I realized this team has a different attitude."

But is Crete-Monee big enough and strong enough and physical enough to match muscles with Lemont and its powerful offensive line headed by LSU-bound Ethan Pocic and Bowling Green-bound Tim McAuliffe?

"Our offense is always dangerous," Verde said. "The difference between this year and the past is our defense is physical and has a lot of speed. In the past, we worried about teams running us over. If opponents are not road-grading us off the line, dominating us on the line, with our speed on defense we can give you some problems.

"Sure, Lemont has a huge offensive line. Physically, I hope we can compete against them. Their strength is the offensive line and one of our strengths has been our front four (led by 6-foot-3, 220-pound senior end Trevelle Smith) and Morgan."

Never say die: Cubs battle back for wild walk-off win over Pirates

Never say die: Cubs battle back for wild walk-off win over Pirates

It would have been so easy for the Cubs to just chalk this one up as a loss and head home.

But this 2016 Cubs team isn't built that way.

They showed what they're made of again Monday, walking off the Pirates, 8-7, in front of 38,951 fans at Wrigley Field.

The Cubs had plenty of chances to score all game, including in extra innings as Javy Baez was thrown out at home plate to end both the 10th and 12th innings.

In the top of the 13th, the Pirates finally broke through, loading the bases with nobody out against Rob Zastryzny and scoring a run — but only one run.

In the bottom of the 13th, the Cubs got their offense going again as Dexter Fowler and Kris Bryant led the inning off with singles to put runners at the corners. Anthony Rizzo then singled through the infield to tie the game and drive home Fowler.

Ben Zobrist was intentionally walked to load the bases with nobody out, setting the stage for Miguel Montero's walk-off single to start the Cubs' homestand off on a positive note and send Zastryzny home with his first MLB victory.

It capped off a game in which almost 465 pitches were thrown and took more than five hours to complete.

"We got in late last night," Cubs manager Joe Maddon said. "I got back about 3 a.m. So these guys — they're coming off West Coast to the Central Time Zone, they're tired, we had to show up today early for a picture — that happens sometimes — and they came out and played until Midnight.

"Of course you want to win that game. That's a tough game to lose. But understand the effort that you saw tonight based on a lot of fatigue. And that's probably what I'm most proud of."

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The Cubs opened up a 3-0 lead on Pirates rookie starter Steven Brault early, but they could have easily had more, narrowly missing home runs in the first (Zobrist) and third innings (Jorge Soler).

The Pirates, meanwhile, came roaring back against Jake Arrieta. 

First, Josh Bell hit a solo homer just over the basket in left field in the fourth inning. Then Gregory Polanco deposited a three-run shot down the left-field line in the sixth inning, two batters after it appeared the Cubs had gotten a strike-'em-out, throw-'em-out double play. Home plate umpire Tripp Gibson disagreed, calling the pitch Ball 4 to Bell and putting two runners on with nobody out instead of two outs and nobody on. Arrieta was irate, staring down the umpire and prompting a visit from Maddon, who proceeded to get in Gibson's face at the base of the mound after calming down Arrieta.

"That's an entirely different baseball game right there that occurred on that particular pitch," Maddon said. "Everything turned on that particluar pitch.

"But I'm not gonna denigrate the umpire. We had plenty of opportunities — PLENTY — to win that game in a normal fashion or earlier. We had so many great at-bats to set it up and then we could not seal the deal."

Arrieta was also saddled with a pair of runs in the seventh inning, with Travis Wood letting two inherited runners score on Josh Harrison's two-out double to make it a 6-3 Pirates lead.

The reigning NL Cy Young winner finished with a tough-luck line that flashed six earned runs in 6 1/3 innings on five hits and three walks.

Then the Cubs began their comeback.

In the eighth, Jason Heyward doubled and Willson Contreras homered to straightaway center.

With one out in the ninth, Soler sent a charge into Tony Watson's offering to tie the game with a blast to center.

That set up Montero for the storybook ending.

"The resiliency of our team is incredible," Arrieta said. "That's what you need down the stretch. ... Just a crazy ballgame all the way around."

Preview: White Sox continue series with Tigers on CSN

Preview: White Sox continue series with Tigers on CSN

The White Sox continue their road series with the Tigers on Tuesday night in the Motor City, and you can catch all the action on CSN. Coverage from Detroit starts at 6 p.m. Then be sure to stick around following the final out for reaction and analysis on White Sox Postgame Live.

Today's starting pitching matchup: Anthony Ranaudo (0-1, 7.88 ERA) vs. Daniel Norris (2-2, 3.63 ERA)

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

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Isaiah Wright, young fan with cancer, receives VIP treatment from White Sox

Isaiah Wright, young fan with cancer, receives VIP treatment from White Sox

Berwyn-native and White Sox fan Isaiah Wright entered the world fighting the odds. At just 14 years old, he has undergone multiple organ transplants and more than 50 surgeries because of a rare birth defect.

Isaiah and his family have an appreciation for just how precious life can be and they were able to make the most of a recent visit to the South Side for a White Sox game, where he received VIP treatment and met his favorite players, including a private meeting with Jose Abreu.

Check out the video above.

A Go Fund Me page was also created to help support Isaiah and his family. Click here to make a donation.