Monthly Archives: September 2011

Week Six Preview #2: Addison Trail at Proviso East

Addison Trail (5-0, 3-0) at Proviso East (1-4, 1-1) 1:30 on Saturday in Maywood, IL

Addison Trail Wide Receiver Anthony Catanese


Addison Trail –

Week One: 42-0 win vs West Chicago

Week Two: 25-6 win at Proviso West

Week Three: 14-7 win vs Leyden

Week Four: 21-0 win at Hinsdale South

Week Five: 35-0 win vs Morton

Proviso East –

Week One: 54-13 loss vs St. Patrick

Week Two: 36-20 loss at OPRF

Week Three: 28-26 loss vs Hinsdale South

Week Four: 41-7 loss vs Proviso West

Week Five: 48-6 win vs Willowbrook

The Addison Trail defense has been incredibly stingy this season, giving up a total of 13 points through five games. Yes, that’s right, the Blazers have given up 13 points through five games, for an average of 2.6 points per game. The defense is led by two stud inside linebackers, Kevin Kent and Mike Imperiale.

The Blazers collected six sacks in their 35-0 win over Morton last week, including two each from Kent and lineman Dylan Domek. AT surrendered 110 total yards to Morton, with 10 yards coming on the ground. AT gave up 89 total yards against Hinsdale South in week four, and 69 total yards against Leyden in week three.

On offense, the Blazers rely on two play-makers, RB Anthony Messina (138 yards, 2 TDs last week) and WR Anthony Catanese (156 yards, 2 TDs receiving, 35 yards, 1 TD rushing last week).

At 5-0, AT is off to their best start in school history. With a Kent, Imperiale and the rest of their stonewall defense, the Blazers could be on their way to a special season.

Proviso East is coming off their first week of the season, and it was a decisive victory. The Pirates defeated Willowbrook 48-6 in Villa Park last week.

QB Malcolm Hilliard is talented and he has some good pieces around him in RB Ryan Jones and WRs Langdon Johnson and Taeveon Johnson. Obviously, Hilliard and the Pirates offense is about to go up against an incredibly tough defense. A repeat of their offensive performance from last week is highly unlikely.

Going against the steel curtain that is the Addison Trail defense, Proviso can not afford to dig themselves a hole on defense. The Pirates defense must come to play if Proviso has any chance of hanging with the Blazers on Saturday.

PREDICTION: Addison Trail 28 Proviso East 0

Leave a comment

Filed under Prep Sports Reporting, Sports

Fun With MLB Awards and Playoff Predictions


Ellsbury had a tremendous season all around. He got on base at a .376 clip, hit over 30 homers, stole almost 40 bases and played great defense in center. I gave Ellsbury the slight nod over Jose Bautista (MLB’s best hitter in 2011) because of Ellsbury’s superior defense at a premium position. Ellsbury’s speed, he stole 39 bases, also helped put him over the top.

1. Jacoby Ellsbury, BOS

.321 AVG, .376 OBP, .552 SLG, 32 HR, 39, SB, 9.6 WAR

2. Jose Bautista, TOR

.302 AVG, .447 OBP, .608 SLG, 1.056 OPS, 43 HR, 8.4 WAR

3. Justin Verlander, DET

24-5, 2.40 ERA, 0.92 WHIP, 9.0 K/9, 170 ERA+, 8.6 WAR

4. Miguel Cabrera, DET

.344 AVG, .448 OBP, .586 SLG, 30 HR, 105 RBI, 7.3 WAR

5. Curtis Granderson, NYY

.262 AVG, .364 OBP, .552 SLG, 41 HR, 119 RBI, 25 SB, 6.9 WAR

6. Dustin Pedroia, BOS

.307 AVG, .387 OBP, .474 SLG, 21 HR, 26 SB, 8.0 WAR

7. Ian Kinsler, TEX

.255 AVG, .355 OBP, .477 SLG, 32 HR, 30 SB, 7.8 WAR

8. Adrian Gonzalez, BOS

.338 AVG, .410 OBP, .548 SLG, 27 HR, 117 RBI, 6.4 WAR

9. Robinson Cano, NYY

.302 AVG, .349 OBP, .533 SLG, 28 HR, 118 RBI, 5.6 WAR

10. CC Sabathia, NYY

19-8, 3.00 ERA, 1.23 WHIP, 8.7 K/9, 147 ERA+, 6.9 WAR


Verlander has been flat out dominant this season, and gets my vote for Cy Young. However, the resumes of Verlander and Sabathia are closer than it is made out to be, as Verlander is seen as the far and away favorite.

1. Justin Verlander, DET

24-5, 2.40 ERA, 0.92 WHIP, 9.0 K/9, 170 ERA+, 8.6 WAR

2. CC Sabathia, NYY

19-8, 3.00 ERA, 1.23 WHIP, 8.7 K/9, 147 ERA+, 6.9 WAR

3. Jered Weaver, LAA

18-8, 2.41 ERA, 1.01 WHIP, 7.6 K/9, 158 ERA+, 6.6 WAR

4. C.J. Wilson, TEX

16-7, 2.94 ERA, 1.19 WHIP, 8.3 K/9, 152 ERA+, 5.0 WAR

5. Dan Haren, LAA

16-10, 3.17 ERA, 1.02 WHIP, 5.81 K/BB, 120 ERA+, 4.0 WAR


Hellickson is clearly the AL’s rookie of the year for his solid performance this entire season. However, is he even the most talented rookie pitcher on the Rays? Phenom Matt Moore, who only made one start for the Rays this season, will be the Game 1 starter for Tampa tomorrow.

1. Jeremy Hellickson, TB

13-10, 2.95 ERA, 1.15 WHIP, 5.6 K/9, 126 ERA+, 4.2 WAR

2. Eric Hosmer, KC

.293 AVG, .334 OBP, .465 SLG, 19 HR, 78 RBI, 1.6 WAR

3. Dustin Ackley, SEA

.273 AVG, .348 OBP, .417 SLG, .340 wOBA, 2.7 WAR

4. Mark Trumbo, LAA

.254 AVG, .291 OBP, .477 SLG, 29 HR, 87 RBI, 2.3 WAR

5. Ivan Nova, NYY

16-4, 3.70 ERA, 1.33 WHIP, 5.3 K/9, 119 ERA+, 3.6 ERA

This is a really close call. Kemp and Braun both had great seasons, and no matter who wins the winner will be deserving. However, I went with Kemp because his offensive are slightly better than Braun’s, and he plays a more premium position than Braun, and plays it a bit better.


1. Matt Kemp, LAD

.324 AVG, .399 OBP, .586 SLG, 39 HR, 126 RBI, 40 SB, 8.7 WAR

2. Ryan Braun, MIL

.332 AVG, .397 OBP, .531 SLG, 33 HR, 111 RBI, 33 SB, 7.8 WAR

3. Justin Upton, ARZ

.289 AVG, .369 OBP, .529 SLG, 31 HR, 88 RBI, 21 SB, 6.5 WAR

4. Joey Votto, CIN

.309 AVG, .416 OBP, .531 SLG, 29 HR, 103 RBI, 6.8 WAR

5. Prince Fielder, MIL

.299 AVG, .415 OBP, .566 SLG, 38 HR, 120 RBI, 5.6 WAR

6. Troy Tulowitzki, COL

.302 AVG, .372 OBP, .544 SLG, 30 HR, 105 RBI, 6.2 WAR

7. Shane Victorino, PHI

.279 AVG, .355 OBP, .491 SLG, 17 HR, 61 RBI, 5.8 WAR

8. Albert Pujols, STL

.299 AVG, .415 OBP, .566 SLG, 37 HR, 99 RBI, 5.2 WAR

9. Lance Berkman, STL

.301 AVG, .412 OBP, .547 SLG, 31 HR, 94 RBI, 5.0 WAR

10. Jose Reyes, NYM

.337 AVG, .384 OBP, .493 SLG, 39 SB, .386 wOBA, 6.3 WAR

Again, another close call. I’m going with Kershaw because his numbers are just a bit better than Halladay, who had another tremendous season. Lee also had a Cy-worthy season for the Phils. Man, is that rotation going to be a beast in the playoffs.


1. Clayton Kershaw, LAD

21-5, 2.28 ERA, 0.98 WHIP, 9.6 K/9, 163 ERA+, 6.9 WAR

2. Roy Halladay, PHI

19-6, 2.35 ERA, 1.04 WHIP, 8.5 K/9, 164 ERA+, 7.4 WAR

3. Cliff Lee, PHI

17-8, 2.40 ERA, 1.03 WHIP, 5.67 K/BB, 161 ERA+, 6.9 WAR

4. Ian Kennedy, ARZ

21-4, 2.88 ERA, 1.09 WHIP, 8.0 K/9, 137 ERA+, 5.5 WAR

5. Matt Cain, SF

12-11, 2.88 ERA, 1.08 WHIP, 7.3 K/9, 123 ERA+, 3.9 WAR


Kimbrel stumbled down the stretch, perhaps due to overuse by manager Fredi Gonzalez. It’s no wonder Gonzalez wanted Kimbrel on the mound as much as possible because Kimbrel was flat out un-hittable before September.

1. Craig Kimbrel, ATL

46 Saves, 2.10 ERA, 1.04 WHIP, 14.8 K/9, 181 ERA+, 3.0 WAR

2. Vance Worley, PHI

11-3, 3.01 ERA, 1.23 WHIP, 8.1 K/9, 129 ERA+, 2.8 WAR

3. Freddie Freeman, ATL

.282 AVG, .346 OBP, .448 SLG, 21 HR, 76 RBI, 1.1 WAR

4. Danny Espinosa, WSH

.236 AVG, .323 OBP, .414 SLG, 21 HR, 17 SB, 3.5 WAR

5. Wilson Ramos, WSH

.267 AVG, .334 OBP, .445 SLG, 15 HR, .332 wOBA, 3.1 WAR



Brewers over D-Backs in 4

Phillies over Cardinals in 3

Yankees over Tigers in 4

Rangers over Rays in 4


Brewers over Phillies in 7

Rangers over Yankees in 6


Brewers over Rangers in 6

MVP: Corey Hart

My predictions are usually wrong, and this is one case where I really, really hope I’m wrong. Anybody but the Brewers, please…

Everything is going Wisconsin’s way (sports wise, definitely not with politics)

Leave a comment

Filed under Sports, Sports Predictions

Week Six Preview #1: St. Francis at Montini

Montini Star WR Jordan Westerkamp

St. Francis (4-1, 1-1) at Montini (3-2, 2-1), 7:30 Friday night in Lombard


St. Francis –

Week One: 21-14 win vs Riverside-Brookfield

Week Two: 22-21 win at Vernon Hills

Week Three: 24-6 loss at Marian Central

Week Four: 56-12 win vs Wheaton Academy

Week Five: 58-19 win vs Guerin

Montini –

Week One: 26-21 win vs Palatine

Week Two: 41-24 loss at Loyola

Week Three: 13-6 win vs Marmion

Week Four: 21-20 loss at Marian Central

Week Five: 55-14 win vs Aurora Christian

St. Francis and Montini meet this week in a re-match of last year’s first round playoff game that saw Montini hold on for victory on a late goal-line stand. Both squads are fresh off blowout victories last week, and in the case of the Spartans, the last two weeks.

Montini, the two-time defending 5A State Champions, came out of the gate slow, starting just 2-2. The offense, which has been without starting QB John Rhode so far, had trouble getting off the ground until last week when they put up 55 points on Aurora Christian. With Rhode expected back this week, the Broncos hope to build off last week’s offensive explosion. It will be interesting to see how much the Broncos use their “JoeCat” offense with Rhode back behind center. Montini has had a lot of success the last couple weeks when they have put WR Joe Borsellino at QB. Borsellino had 152 yards of total offense and scored four touchdowns (he scored them three different ways: he ran for two, threw for one and caught another) last week against Aurora Christian. The “JoeCat” offense also sparked the late 4th quarter touchdown drive that gave the Broncos the lead over Marmion in week three. With his starting QB back in the lineup, Nebraska-bound WR Jordan Westerkamp should be even more dangerous this week. Westerkamp recently set the state record for most touchdown receptions in a career.

St. Francis has used a bruising, clock-eating offense on their way to a 4-1 start this season. RB Jack Petrando leads the way for a group of runners that tallied 408 rushing yards last week against Guerin. Petrando makes an impact on offense and defense. In the Spartans’ 56-12 victory over Wheaton Academy in week four, Petrando rushed for 124 yards and 4 touchdowns on offense while also returning an interception 69 yards for a touchdown on defense. The Spartans will try to control the game Friday night with their running game. The more clock their offense is able to eat up, the less time Westerkamp and the dangerous Montini offense will have on the field. Marmion executed this strategy against Montini in week three. The Cadets held the ball for the majority of the game, but they were unable to cash in on their long drives with touchdowns and lost 13-6. I believe St. Francis will have the same success at controlling the game with their running game, and unlike Marmion, the Spartans will end at least a couple of their drives with touchdowns.

PREDICTION: St. Francis 28 Montini 24

Leave a comment

Filed under Prep Sports Reporting, Sports

Bradley Hands Thornwood First Loss In OT Thriller

Bradley 24 Thornwood 21

Bradley head coach Mike Kohl told his team all week they would have a good chance of beating undefeated Thornwood if they could hold the high flying Thunderbird offense to just three touchdowns.

Kohl was right. Bradley (3-2, 2-1) allowed Thornwood (4-1, 2-1) to reach the end zone just three times on Saturday afternoon in the Boilermakers’ 24-21 overtime victory over the Thunderbirds.

“They [Thornwood] have so many weapons, I don’t know how many Division I kids they’ve got, but they’ve got a lot of weapons on offense, and we knew it’d be a grind,” said Kohl. “We thought if we could hold them to three touchdowns, we’d win, and we said that all week.”

Freshman kicker Gavin Patterson gave Bradley the win with a 19-yard field goal.

Bradley got the ball in overtime needing only a field goal to win. The Boilermakers ran the ball on their first three overtime plays, and were unable to get the ball in the end zone. But on fourth down, the Boilermakers’ freshman kicker came through.

“The crazy thing is, our kicker [Patterson] is a freshman. Because of that, we thought we’d wait a couple downs and keep the ball in the middle of the field, run it, be conservative and give us a chance to win,” said Kohl.

The game went to overtime with a score of 21-21 after Thornwood kicker Rogelio Vargas missed a 35-yard field goal attempt in the waning seconds of regulation.

Thornwood got the ball first but was unable to score. Kicker Adrian Perez’s 24-yard field goal attempt on fourth down was blocked by Bradley’s LJ Harris.

“Our defense getting that stop at the end was huge. Any time you stop a team in overtime, it gives the momentum to the offense,” said Kohl.

It looked early on like Bradley was going to have a hard time stopping the Thunderbirds offense.

Thornwood took a quick 7-0 lead when quarterback Patrick Bolton threw a 90-yard touchdown pass to wide receiver Christopher Scott on the the Thunderbirds’ first snap of the game.

Bradley wide receiver Myles Clark ran 11 yards for a touchdown on an end-around late in the first quarter, tying the game at 7-7.

Raheem Gardner’s two-yard touchdown run gave the lead back to the Thunderbirds, 14-7, with just under three minutes to go in the second quarter. Gardner finished the game with 24 carries for 103 yards and 1 touchdown.

The Boilermakers were able to answer back before the end of the first half. Quarterback Nick Pippin connected with wide receiver Myron Harris on a 7-yard touchdown pass with one minute left in the second quarter. The game was knotted 14-14 at halftime.

Thornwood scored their third and last touchdown on the team’s first possession of the second half. Bolton threw a 22-yard touchdown pass to Cedric Doxy that gave the Thunderbirds a 21-14 lead with 10 minutes remaining in the third quarter.

The Boilermakers evened the score on Clark’s second touchdown of the game. Clark caught a 13-yard touchdown pass from Pippin that tied the score at 21-21 with 5:38 left in the third quarter. Clark was Pippin’s go-to-receiver Saturday afternoon, catching 10 passes for 147 yards and one touchdown.

Bradley cornerback Antaun Patterson intercepted Bolton twice in the second half as the Boilermakers kept Thornwood off the scoreboard over the final 22 minutes of regulation and in overtime.

“We talked about overcoming adversity a lot with our team, and I thought our kids did a great job of that,” said Kohl. “Our kids fought back and competed, and it was a great win for us.”



[7:39] TW Patrick Bolton 90 yard pass to Christopher Scott (PAT good) – 7-0 TW

[0:07] BB Myles Clark 11 yard run (PAT good) – 7-7


[2:48] TW Raheem Gardner 2 yard run (PAT good) – 14-7 TW

[1:09] BB Nick Pippin 7 yard pass to Myron Harris (PAT good) – 14-14


[10:08] TW Patrick Bolton 22 yard pass to Cedric Doxy (PAT good) – 21-14 TW

[5:38] BB Nick Pippin 13 yard pass to Myles Clark (PAT good) – 21-21


BB Gavin Patterson 19 yard Field Goal – 24-21 BB

I covered this story for the Chicago Sun-Times. It also appears on

Leave a comment

Filed under Photography, Prep Sports Reporting, Sports

Wheaton North Flies Past Glenbard East, 56-12

Wheaton North quarterback John Peltz

Wheaton North 56 Glenbard East 12

Quarterback John Peltz ran for four touchdowns and threw for one more as the high-flying Falcons of Wheaton North defeated Glenbard East 56-12 Friday night in Wheaton.

The five touchdown outburst was another strong overall performance from the Falcons’ junior quarterback.

“Johnny Peltz has done a great job for us,” said Wheaton North (4-1, 3-0) coach Joe Wardynski. “When we’ve asked him to carry the ball, he’s a tough kid and gets positive yards for us, and he’s making good decisions with the ball, we’re not turning it over with him back there right now.”

Wheaton North faced an early 6-0 deficit after Glenbard East (1-4, 0-3) quarterback Joe Kotch threw an 85 yard touchdown pass to wide receiver Mike Fahey on the Rams’s third snap of the game.

“It was frustrating because we know they like to run that route, we practiced it all week and we still had a kid bite on a slant route right there, which was unfortunate,” said Wardynski.

However, the Falcons struck back in resounding fashion with 56 unanswered points.

Quarterback John Peltz’s one yard touchdown run capped off a long drive on the Falcons’ first possession of the game. Kicker Marcin Gawlak’s point after gave the Falcons a 7-6 lead.

Peltz added three more touchdown runs, including an 80 yard scamper to the end zone in the third quarter. Peltz also connected with wide receiver Johnny Daniels on a 32 yard touchdown pass in the second quarter.

Running back Mikey Sammer, who is filling in for injured starter Patrick Sharp, had 16 carries for 113 yards and one touchdown. His 43-yard touchdown run in the second quarter put the Falcons up 14-6.

The Wheaton North defense dominated after giving up the early touchdown. The Falcons picked off Kotch three times, including interceptions by Falcons cornerback Jaylen Howze on back-to-back drives. Kotch has thrown three interceptions in each of his last two games.

Howze returned his second interception of the night 20 yards for a touchdown, putting the Falcons up 28-6 in the second quarter.

“The touchdown was huge, any pick for the defense is huge, and it was because of my team,” said Howze. “There was good coverage over the top which allowed me to have the interception.”

The blowout loss was Glenbard East’s third consecutive loss by more than 40 points.



[10:36] GE Joe Kotch 85 yard pass to Mike Fahey (PAT no good) – 6-0 GE

[7:54] WN John Peltz 1 yard run (PAT good) – 7-6 WN

[2:44] WN Mikey Sammer 43 yard run (PAT good) – 14-6 WN

[0:44] WN John Peltz 2 yard run (PAT good) – 21-6 WN

[0:03] WN Jaylen Howze 20 yard interception return (PAT good) – 28-6 WN


[9:09] WN John Peltz 32 yard pass to Johnny Daniels (PAT good) – 35-6 WN

[4:01] WN John Peltz 4 yard run (PAT good) – 42-6 WN


[11:38] WN John Peltz 80 yard run (PAT good) – 49-6 WN

[8:40] WN Colton Hrgich 10 yard run (PAT good) – 56-6 WN


[10:19] GE Joe Kotch 5 yard run (2-pt attempt no good) – 56-12 WN

I wrote this story for the Chicago Sun-Times. It also appears on

1 Comment

Filed under Portfolio Pieces, Prep Sports Reporting

Glenbard North Scores Five Second Quarter Touchdowns In 49-0 Rout of Glenbard East

Glenbard North QB Brian Murphy Photo By: Stacia Timonere for the Sun-Times

Glenbard North 49 Glenbard East 0

Glenbard North exploded for 35 second quarter points en route to a 49-0 victory over Glenbard East Friday night in Lombard.

The Panthers pride themselves on being a run-oriented team, but it was the passing game that sparked the Panthers’ five touchdown outburst in the second quarter.

“I think we got a little stubborn in the first quarter, we tried to run, tried to run, tried to run, and we were attacking walled cities,” said Glenbard North head coach Ryan Wilkens. “We just decided that we would try to loosen up a little bit and go to the air. Brian had a good night, he threw 10 times in the first half, that’s a lot for us.”

Quarterback Brian Murphy completed 8 of his 10 first half pass attempts for 229 yards and two touchdowns. His second touchdown of the night was a 79-yard bomb to wide receiver Trevor Hackett that put the Panthers up 3-0.

Murphy also connected with wide receiver Solomon Oquendo for a 12-yard touchdown.

“I thought his timing was very good, he sat back there in the pocket, he had pretty decent time, but his accuracy and his timing was pretty good,” said Wilkens about his junior quarterback. “Overall for a team that is more of a run-oriented team, I thought he did a very, very good job tonight.”

The Panthers (4-0, 2-0) recovered a Glenbard East muffed punt at the Rams’ 15 yard line on the first play of the second quarter. The Panthers capitalized on the subsequent play when running back Phil Jackson ran 15 yards for his second touchdown on the game, putting Glenbard North ahead 14-0.

The senior running back finished the game with 75 yards and two touchdowns on 13 carries.

Back-up running back Justin Jackson scored the second Panthers touchdown of the quarter on a 34-yard run down the right sideline. Jackson, who also starts at safety on defense, blocked a punt on the Panthers’ next defensive possession.

The Panthers fifth and final touchdown of the second quarter was scored by running back Tremel Smith on a one yard run. Glenbard North led 42-0 at halftime.

Quarterback Joe Kotch and the Glenbard East (1-3, 0-2) offense was unable to get anything going the entire game. The Rams only managed to gain 79 yards and four first downs, and turned the ball over five times. Kotch completed 3 of his 18 pass attempts for 23 yards and threw three interceptions.

“We didn’t do a whole lot right in every phase,” said Glenbard East head coach John Walters. “We need to make sure that we’re transferring our practice skill out here to the football field on Friday night, and that’s exactly what’s not happened for us.”

The Rams have lost three straight games since winning their home opener.

I wrote this story for the Chicago Sun-Times. It appears online at



[5:30] GN Phil Jackson 1 yard run (PAT good) – 7-0 GN


[11:14] GN Phil Jackson 15 yard run (PAT good) – 14-0 GN

[6:59] GN Justin Jackson 34 yard run (PAT good) – 21-0 GN

[5:15] GN Brian Murphy 12 yard pass to Solomon Oquendo (PAT good) – 28-0 GN

[2:30] GN Brian Murphy 79 yard pass to Trevor Hackett (PAT good) – 35-0 GN

[0:11] GN Tremel Smith 1 yard run (PAT good) – 42-0 GN


[8:35] GN Vincent Sherrod 37 yard run (PAT good) – 49-0 GN

1 Comment

Filed under Prep Sports Reporting, Sports

Montini, Westerkamp edge by Marmion in “a real battle”

Photo by Tracy Allen~for Sun-Times Media

Montini 13 Marmion 6

Behind the efforts of star receiver Jordan Westerkamp, Montini took down Marmion 13-6 in a Suburban Catholic Blue battle Friday night in Lombard.

Westerkamp’s fourth-quarter touchdown run was his 44th career visit to the end zone.

“The kid is just amazing, he is a football player through and through. He loves the game and he plays the game the right way. He’s got the talent, the knowledge and the skill,” said Broncos coach Chris Andriano. “We’re really, really thrilled about his Montini career, he’s been amazing and hopefully there’s a lot more to go.”

The star receiver was held to three catches for 21 yards by the Marmion (1-2, 0-1 Suburban Christian Blue) defense, but Westerkamp’s biggest contribution came on the ground when his team needed him the most.

With five minutes remaining in the fourth quarter and the score knotted at 6-6, Westerkamp took a hand-off from backup quarterback Joe Borsellino and ran four yards for a touchdown.

“It was tough, it was aggravating, but we bounced back, that’s what great teams do, they bounce back and they make plays,” said the Nebraska-bound Westerkamp.

Marmion was able to control the pace of the game with a strong running attack. Running back Garret Becker led the Cadets with 16 carries for 75 yards.

“That was a war, that game was a real battle. I’m proud of our kids,” said Andriano.” Marmion had a really good game plan and they’re a physical team. When you can control the clock like that, the offense can get a little bit impatient, and that’s what was happening to us.”

While the Cadets were able to control the clock, they were unable to find the end zone at the conclusion of any of their long drives. Marmion settled for two field goals of 40 and 31 yards from kicker A.J. Friedman.

Montini (2-1, 1-0) quarterback Mark Gorogianis struggled through the air, throwing three interceptions. Gorogianis had one touchdown on the ground, getting the Broncos on the board with a 1-yard touchdown run in the second quarter. The score was set up by a 8-yard run from Borselliono on 4th-and-one that brought the Broncos to the 1-yard line.

I wrote this story for the Chicago Sun-Times. It can be viewed here.



[4:09] MAR A.J. Friedman 40 yard field goal – 3-0 MAR


[9:11] MON Mark Gorogianis 1 yard run (PAT blocked) – 6-3 MON

[0:07] MAR A.J. Friedman 31 yard field goal – 6-6


[5:07] MON Jordan Westerkamp 4 yard run (PAT good) – 13-6 MON

1 Comment

Filed under Prep Sports Reporting, Sports

2011 NFL Predictions


1. New England Patriots 14-2

2. New York Jets 11-5 (WC)

3. Buffalo Bills 4-12

4. Miami Dolphins 3-13


1. Pittsburgh Steelers 12-4

2. Baltimore Ravens 12-4 (WC)

3. Cleveland Browns 5-11

4. Cincinnati Bengals 2-14


1. Houston Texans 10-6

2. Tennessee Titans 9-7

3. Indianapolis Colts 8-8

4. Jacksonville Jaguars 3-13


1. San Diego Chargers 11-5

2. Oakland Raiders 7-9

3. Kansas City Chiefs 6-10

4. Denver Broncos 5-11


1. Philadelphia Eagles 12-4

2. Dallas Cowboys 9-7

3. New York Giants 7-9

4. Washington Redskins 5-11


1. Green Bay Packers 14-2

2. Detroit Lions 8-8

3. Chicago Bears 6-10

4. Minnesota Vikings 6-10


1. New Orleans Saints 12-4

2. Atlanta Falcons 11-5 (WC)

3. Tampa Bay Buccaneers 10-6 (WC)

4. Carolina Panthers 2-14


1. St. Louis Rams 8-8

2. San Francisco 49ers 8-8

3. Arizona Cardinals 7-9

4. Seattle Seahawks 4-12



Jets over Chargers

Ravens over Texans


Patriots over Jets

Ravens over Steelers


Ravens over Patriots



Falcons over Rams

Eagles over Bucs


Packers over Falcons

Saints over Eagles


Packers over Saints


Packers over Ravens

The title belt will stay in Green Bay.

Other Predictions:

NFL MVP: Aaron Rodgers, GB

Offensive Player of the Year: Aaron Rodgers, GB

Defensive Player of the Year: Ndamukong Suh, DET

Offensive Rookie of the Year: Mark Ingram, NO

Defensive Rookie of the Year: J.J. Watt, HOU (Total homer pick)

Andrew Luck Sweepstakes Winner: Bengals (Panthers might get the #1 pick, but they picked Cam Newton last year…)

Leave a comment

Filed under Sports, Sports Predictions

Let Conference Play Begin: Marmion at Montini Preview

Marmion (1-1) at Montini (1-1), Friday Sept. 9 7:30 pm, Lombard, IL

Photo from Donnell Collins~For Sun-Times Media


Game 1: 36-7 loss at Batavia

The Cadets season got off to a rough start with a 36-7 beating at Batavia on Aug. 26. Marmion had an awful first half, turning the ball over six times on their way to a 30-0 halftime deficit. The Cadets had an incredibly difficult time throwing the ball. They had four different players attempt a pass, and combined their pass-throwers completed as many passes to fellow Cadets as they did to the defense (four). Marmion’s lone score came on a 77-yard run by running back Garret Becker after the game had already been decided.

Game 2: 6-0 win versus Fenwick

The Cadets recovered from their week one beating with a 6-0 win in a defensive grinder with Fenwick. Once again, the Marmion offense struggled, scoring only one touchdown. However, the 6-yard run by running back Kyle Kozak was all the Cadets needed. The Cadet defense came out strong to start the game, allowing Fenwick to gain only two total yards and no first downs in the first half. Marmion held the ball for 19 of the game’s first 24 minutes. The Cadets held on in the second half, stopping a couple of long Fenwick drives before the Friars could reach the end zone. Marmion ran 47 plays to Fenwick’s 31, and out-gained the Friars 165 yards to 59 yards.

Photo from Tracy Allen~for Sun-Times Media


Game 1: 26-21 win versus Palatine

Montini, the two time defending Class 5A champions, did more than hold their own against Class 8A, defeating the Pirates 26-21 in Lombard on Aug. 26. Running back Dimitri Jones ran for 160 yards and two touchdowns on 15 carries, stealing some of the spotlight from usual Bronco star wide receiver Jordan Westerkamp. The Nebraska-bound Westerkamp did have a solid game, catching 5 passes for 88 yards and a touchdown. Quarterback Mark Gorogianis, filling in for the injured John Rhode (fractured right thumb, expected to miss three more weeks) was 13-for-24 for 134 yards, one touchdown and 3 interceptions.

Game 2: 41-24 loss at Loyola

Westerkamp had an outstanding performance, but it wasn’t enough to beat Malcolm Weaver and Loyola, as the Broncos lost 41-24 to the Ramblers. The 6-1, 200 lb. Westerkamp was double covered on nearly every play but still collected 7 catches for 135 yards and three touchdowns. However, the Broncos could not stop Ramblers quarterback Weaver, who was 21-for-29 for 246 yards and 5 touchdowns. Weaver also had 100 yards rushing and one touchdown on 15 carries.  Gorogianis improved his play, completing 16 of his 29 passes for 275 yards, three touchdowns, and perhaps most importantly, no interceptions.


Marmion has to do two things if they have any chance of knocking off Montini Friday night, and neither will be easy. First, the Cadets must improve their offense which has only produced six total points through two games. They were able to control the time of possession last week against Fenwick, which was a step in the right direction, but they only found the end zone once. Secondly, Marmion has to contain Jordan Westerkamp, which is much easier said than done. With their meager offense, the Cadets can’t afford Westerkamp to go off like he did last week against Loyola (7 recs, 135 yds, 3 TDs). The Cadets don’t have a playmaker like Loyola’s Malcolm Weaver to offset Westerkamp’s production. It will also be interesting to see the progression of Broncos quarterback Mark Gorogianis, now in his third week filling in for injured QB John Rhode. Gorogianis improved greatly from week one to week two, will his improvement continue in week three as the Broncos enter conference play?


Montini 42 Marmion 7




Leave a comment

Filed under Prep Sports Reporting, Sports

OPRF outlasts heat and Proviso East, wins 36-20 over Pirates

Oak Park-River Forest 36 Proviso East 20

Oak Park-River Forest relied on a strong running game as the Huskies outlasted Proviso East and the heat Friday night, defeating the Pirates 36-20 in Oak Park.

Running back Jakari Cammon ran the ball eight times for 49 yards on the Huskies’ (1-1) opening drive, setting the tone for the game. Cammon ended the drive with a six-yard run into the endzone, putting OPRF up 7-0.

Cammon’s 13-yard touchdown run in the fourth quarter sealed victory for the Huskies, putting them ahead 36-20 with just 2:23 left in the game.

Cammon finished the game with 26 carries for 174 yards and two touchdowns. Despite his success Friday night, Cammon still sees room for improvement in his game.

“I think I played well, but I had a few cuts I missed, I should have took advantage of. It’s just all about watching film and understanding the other team’s defense,” said Cammon.

Quarterback John Phelan threw touchdown passes to wide receivers Simmie Cobbs and Ryan Nelson and ran for another score. Phelan finished 7 of 12 for 102 yards, two touchdowns and one interception. He also had 16 carries for 73 yards and one touchdown.

OPRF Head Coach John Hoerster thought his quarterback’s play improved from the Huskies’ opening game.

“I think John’s reads were better in terms of giving the ball to Jakari when he needed to give the ball to Jakari, pull it when he needed to pull it,” said Hoerster. “He threw a couple nice passes which gave the receivers the opportunity to make plays. We’ve been telling him that we have some really talented guys outside that if we can just let them make plays, we’re going to be in good shape.”

Things started off well for the Proviso East (0-2) offense. Running Back Ryan Jones ran for a 49-yard touchdown on the Pirates first snap of the game.

Pirates Quarterback Malcolm Hilliard connected with wide receiver Langdon Johnson for a 34-yard touchdown pass in the second quarter, and added a one-yard touchdown run in the fourth.

Cammon believes the Huskies need to fine-tune their play before they begin West Suburban Silver Conference play next Friday at 7:30 p.m. against Downers Grove North,

“We’ve got to learn from our mistakes. To be a great team, we need to stop the penalties, and just finish drives,” said Cammon. “There were plenty of drives where we got to the 15, 10, got a penalty that called us back, and made the defense come out. We’ve got to finish those drive to become a great team.”

Proviso East opens up West Suburban Gold conference play in Maywood next Saturday at 1:30 p.m. against Hinsdale South.

I wrote this story for the Chicago Sun-Times and the Pioneer Press. It appears online here.

Scoring Plays:


[6:05] OPRF Jakari Cammon 6 yard run (PAT good) —  7-0 OPRF

[5:50] PE Ryan Jones 49 yard run (PAT good) — 7-7

[3:05] OPRF Simmie Cobbs 13 yard pass from John Phelan (PAT good) — 14-7 OPRF


[10:31] OPRF Ryan Nelson 21 yard pass from John Phelan (PAT good) — 21-7 OPRF

[7:00] PE Langdon Johnson 34 yard pass from Malcolm Hilliard (PAT good) — 21-14 OPRF

[2:37] OPRF Proviso East kneels in the end zone for a Safety — 23-14 OPRF


[5:13] OPRF John Phelan 3 yard run (PAT no good) — 29-14 OPRF

[4:24] PE Malcolm Hilliard 1 yard run (PAT blocked) — 29-20 OPRF


[2:23] OPRF Jakari Cammon 13 yard run (PAT good) — 36-20 OPRF

Leave a comment

Filed under Photography, Portfolio Pieces, Prep Sports Reporting, Sports