South Elgin shows its new weapons
South Elgin's previously unproven offense demonstrated its versatility in Saturday's 48-35 victory over visiting Downers Grove South.
The Storm took the field with a new quarterback (Robert Cuda), a new tailback (Jeff Broger), two new wide receivers and three new linemen, yet the relatively green offense amassed 469 total yards.
South Elgin found room to run in the first half when Broger, a senior, gained the majority of his game-high 160 yards and ran for his 2 touchdowns.
When Broger cramped up on a hot afternoon, the attack shifted to the air.
"At halftime we decided we were going to put it on the receivers," South Elgin coach Dale Schabert said. "We challenged them by saying 'Here's where you make a name for yourself. Here's where you grow up.'"
Downers Grove South took third-quarter leads of 20-14 and 28-21, but 4 South Elgin touchdown passes overcame those deficits.
Cuda, a 6-foot-1, 190-pound junior making his first varsity start, completed 16 of 30 attempts for 250 yards. His top target was receiver Joe Crivolio. The 6-foot-3 senior made 7 catches for 122 yards, including touchdowns of 18 and 27 yards. Cuda connected with five different receivers, four of which had at least 3 receptions.
"(Cuda) did a great job with his reads and the receivers adjusted routes. It was lots of fun to watch," Schabert said. "We saw a lot of growth in some kids who hadn't had a lot of wins on the lower levels."
Moving forward: Sure, the Dundee-Crown football players enjoyed snapping their school-record, 26-game losing streak with a 54-12 victory over Elgin last Friday.
However, second-year coach Vito Andriola said it's a sign of progress that his players reacted to the victory as if it was to be expected.
"The guys were happy, but I think the fans were more crazy than we were," Andriola said. "Our players were happy because everybody else was. What I'm pleased with is we went about our business. The next morning we watched video and started working for Streamwood."
With a long-sought victory in hand, the Chargers try to take another big step forward in Week 2 against the Sabres, a 2011 playoff qualifier.
Citing the challenging Fox Valley Conference schedule ahead, Andriola said this nonconference game is a must-win if the improving Chargers are to contend for a postseason berth.
"It's a huge game for us if we want to get in (the playoffs)," Andriola said. "This is a game we have to have or we make our road extremely difficult. Streamwood is a good football team. They're probably thinking the same thing."
Green Gators: Crystal Lake South's young offense was shut out by Marian Central's formidable defense in a season-opening defeat last Friday, 31-0.
A lot of the credit goes to the Hurricanes, ranked fifth in The Associated Press Class 5A poll, but Gators coach Chuck Ahsmann said some of the blame lies with the inexperienced offense, which made some fixable mistakes.
"We felt we did some things well, but penalties took us out of that," Ahsmann said. "There was a lack of discipline on our part. We've been working hard on that this week. If we can better sustain drives, we'll be in very good shape."
CL South aims for better offensive production in tonight's home opener against city rival Crystal Lake Central, which last week rallied from a 12-point, fourth-quarter deficit to defeat Huntley 27-26.
Elgin numbers rise: Elgin is better equipped to compete in Week 2 than in last week's opener, when only 16 players dressed for a 54-12 loss at Dundee-Crown.
Nine Maroons were ineligible to play last week because they had not logged the requisite amount of practice time. Those players will compete tonight against Bartlett at Memorial Field, according to Elgin coach Dave Bierman, as will senior tight end/linebacker Mitch Pultersdorf. He missed the opener due to injury.
Much-needed reinforcements in tow, Elgin's short-term goal is simple.
"Our big push this week is just to get better," Bierman said. "We want to be a little more consistent offensively up front, get some backs some creases and give Ryan (Sitter) time at the quarterback position to throw the ball. We know what Bartlett does, but at the same time we're more concerned with ourselves and getting better fundamentally."
It's not how you start ... : Huntley learned a bitter lesson about finishing strong last Friday.
The Red Raiders had opportunities to seal a win in the season opener at Crystal Lake Central, but they didn't put the game away after taking a 26-14 lead late in the third quarter.
The Tigers rallied with a 20-yard interception return for a touchdown and a fumble recovery they converted into the game-winning, 91-yard drive. CL Central scored with 4 seconds left to win the game.
"I think this is a really good football team when we execute, but we didn't finish well," Huntley coach John Hart said. "That's the part of the game we have to get a lot better at. We felt we should have extended the lead and separated ourselves. When you don't do that you have a good chance of losing close ballgames."
Hart said senior running back Ethan Connor is "probable" for tonight's home opener against Kaneland. Connor left the CL Central game late in the third quarter due to an ankle injury.
Misleading: Cary-Grove's youthful defense played far better than the final score of last Friday's 48-33 victory over St. Charles East indicates.
The Trojans led 42-13 in the second half when the coaching staff replaced the starters. The second team defense allowed 2 late touchdowns and the Saints returned a fumble for another score.
St. Charles East scored 2 first-half touchdowns, both of which were preventable.
"On their first touchdown (a 40-yard pass) we missed the quarterback in the backfield," Cary-Grove coach Brad Seaburg said. "Their second scoring drive was extended twice by our penalties.
"I thought the defense did pretty well considering how many players were out there for the first time."
The Cary-Grove option offense was in midseason form. The Trojans gained 499 total yards, led by senior Kyle Norberg. He rushed for 189 yards and a touchdown in his first game as the starting fullback. Quarterback Quinn Baker rushed for 160 yards and 3 touchdowns, and senior back Ryan Mahoney carried 4 times for 67 yards, including a 45-yard score.
This article filed under
- Carol Stream
- Crystal Lake
- Fox River Grove
- Hanover Park
- Hoffman Estates
- Lake in the Hills
- South Elgin
- Trout Valley
- Bartlett High School
- Cary-Grove High School
- Crystal Lake South High School
- Elgin High School
- Huntley High School
- Prep Boys
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