Menu

Refusing to be shorted: Chargers take care of business at homecoming

  • Written by Ken Karrson

 Photo by Jeff Vorva. Oak Lawn quarterback Konrad Lach is brought down by Stagg’s David Griffith during Friday night’s matchup in Palos Hills. Photo by Jeff Vorva. Oak Lawn quarterback Konrad Lach is brought down by Stagg’s David Griffith during Friday night’s matchup in Palos Hills.

A shortened week of preparation didn’t shortchange Stagg.

While the Chargers were glad to win their season-opener, regardless of when it finally took place, there was no denying that a weather-induced reshuffling of the schedule did them no favors. After beating Hillcrest on Labor Day, Stagg coaches had just three days to get their players ready for Oak Lawn’s visit on Friday.

Photo by Jeff Vorva. While the Stagg sidelines erupt, first-year head coach Mike Fahey (in hat) remains stoic after the Chargers score a second-half touchdown against Oak Lawn Friday Night. A 36-14 victory gave Stagg its best start to a season since 2005.Photo by Jeff Vorva. While the Stagg sidelines erupt, first-year head coach Mike Fahey (in hat) remains stoic after the Chargers score a second-half touchdown against Oak Lawn Friday Night. A 36-14 victory gave Stagg its best start to a season since 2005.As if that wasn’t a formidable enough task, it was further complicated by the fact that the Chargers’ home debut was also part of Stagg’s homecoming festivities. And the occasion would be heightened by the appearance of Amos Alonzo Stagg’s grandchildren, who were going to help celebrate the school’s 50th anniversary.

But Chargers head coach Mike Fahey never let his athletes forget there was a game to be played. Despite all the apparent obstacles it was forced to clear, Stagg did so nicely, as it collected a 36-14 triumph over the Spartans.

The Chargers opened a season with back-to-back wins for the first time since 2005, which, interestingly enough, was also the last time they qualified for the state tournament. Stagg hadn’t won consecutive games at any point of a campaign since 2009.

“Our kids were pumped and I’ve got to give them a lot of credit,” Fahey said. “To play two games in five days and execute a game plan as well as they did [on Friday] says a lot about them. Our seniors led the right way and everything just clicked.

Bartosh: There’s something about Johnny

  • Written by Bartosh

That “Johnny Football” nickname no longer seems to fit.

How about “Johnny Footloose” instead? Or maybe “Johnny Screw Loose?”

Of course, if he refuses to rein in his conduct and keeps acting the knucklehead, he’ll likely start being identified by most individuals as “Johnny Needs A Foot Up His ***.”

Texas A&M University quarterback Johnny Manziel still possesses plenty of football-playing chops, but the notoriety he gained in 2012 by becoming the first-ever freshman Heisman Trophy winner is quickly being replaced by his off-the-field antics in 2013. And actually, his on-field self is nothing to write home about lately, either.

Not in a sheer productivity sense. That much was evident in the Aggies’ season-opener, when Manziel threw three second-half touchdown passes to help defeat Rice University 52-31.

But instead of just leaving well enough alone and walking away as game-day hero once again, Manziel felt it necessary to rub his opponent’s nose in the lopsided outcome. He was flagged for unsportsmanlike conduct after taunting two Owls players by pointing at the scoreboard following the last of his TD tosses.

Jack comes up aces: Donegan shines as RedHawks maul Rice

  • Written by Ken Karrson

Photo by Jeff Vorva. Marist receiver Nic Wischar’s helmet flies off, but he hangs onto the ball after scoring his second of three touchdowns Friday night versus Brother Rice. TheRedHawks rolled to a 55-14 win over their neighborhood rival.Photo by Jeff Vorva. Marist receiver Nic Wischar’s helmet flies off, but he hangs onto the ball after scoring his second of three touchdowns Friday night versus Brother Rice. The RedHawks rolled to a 55-14 win over their neighborhood rival.

Ian who?

While Marist fans aren’t likely to soon forget graduated quarterback Ian Woodworth and the pinball-like offensive numbers he helped the RedHawks put up during his two varsity seasons, Jack Donegan gave them something new to remember Friday night.

For sure, visiting Brother Rice players won’t get Donegan out of their minds for a while. That’s what a six-touchdown passing night will do for a signal-caller’s reputation.

And the scoring throws were only part of the damage Marist’s senior QB inflicted upon the Crusaders in just his second varsity start. Donegan completed all but four of his 27 aerial attempts, a show of accuracy that led to 341 yards through the air.

With that assault serving as their linchpin, the RedHawks piled up points in a hurry. Twenty-eight of them in the opening stanza quickly turned this latest edition of a storied neighborhood rivalry ugly, and Marist went on to pocket a surprisingly lopsided 55-14 victory in Mount Greenwood.

“It’s one of those games that can [usually] go either way,” RedHawks coach Pat Dunne said. “I’m very happy with the way the guys came out and proud of how focused they were the entire game. They obviously understood the urgency they had to have.

Unwelcome visitors : Big third quarter keys Bulldogs’ win at Batavia

  • Written by Ken Karrson

A raucous crowd dressed mostly in white greeted Richards when it arrived at Batavia High School Friday night.

The fans’ so-called “whiteout” ultimately proved a washout, however, at least as far as rattling the visitors was concerned.

“I think our kids enjoyed it and thrived on it,” Bulldogs coach Tony Sheehan said. “It’s what high school football is all about.

“We’ve got some guys who I don’t think know [or care] where they are. They’re football players and they love playing in front of people. [The fans] were loud, but a lot of our kids used it positively.”

Richards also made sure the noise got dialed down significantly in the third quarter. That’s when the Bulldogs put some distance between themselves and their namesakes, as they piled up 18 points in relatively rapid fashion.

That opened up a comfortable 31-13 lead for Richards and allowed it to eventually bank a 31-26 victory over Batavia, which had captured 20 consecutive regular-season wins and was part of most preseason top 25s compiled within the Chicagoland area.

“This is probably No. 1 [among regular-season triumphs] since I’ve taken over,” said Sheehan, who is in his sixth season of coaching at his alma mater. “[Batavia is] a quality program that’s well-coached with physical, smart kids. They’re everything we thought they’d be.

Comeback classic: Improbable rally lifts Cougars past Marian in OT

  • Written by Ken Karrson

Photo by Jeff Vorva. St. Xavier University running back Nick Pesek gets his helmet spun around during a game-tying drive against Marian University Saturday night. The Cougars beat the defending NAIA national champs 31-24 in overtime.  Photo by Jeff Vorva. St. Xavier University running back Nick Pesek gets his helmet spun around during a game-tying drive against Marian University Saturday night. The Cougars beat the defending NAIA national champs 31-24 in overtime. The next time Mike Feminis is seen walking along the St. Xavier University sideline, his attire might have already undergone a change.

“I’m taking the visor off and wearing a hat because I’ll be completely bald after this,” the veteran leader joked.

“This” referred to the Cougars’ season-opener with Marian University, a contest pitting the past two NAIA national champions against one another. And through 30 minutes of Saturday night’s clash at Bruce R. Deaton Field, it was all Knights.

The defending titlists roared out to a 24-10 halftime edge and, with SXU’s offense seemingly stuck in neutral, appeared to be in excellent position to knock off their longtime Mid-States Football Association rival. But Marian was kept out of the end zone after that, and the Cougars finally took advantage of excellent second-half field position to forge a tie in the late stages of regulation.

A missed Knights field goal necessitated overtime, and senior Joe Gill’s 13-yard pass to redshirt freshman Sean Jones in the extra session gave NAIA No. 4-ranked SXU the points it needed to secure an improbable 31-24 triumph over No. 2 Marian in a conference crossover contest.