Oswego’s Steven Frank, sidelined by injury since Week 3, will soon be returning to action.
The senior quarterback announced the news via Twitter earlier this week that he had received clearance from his doctor, saying: “Thank God for miracles! Finally cleared and back on the field!!!!”
Oswego coach Brian Cooney, though, urged caution.
“I wouldn’t call it good to go,” the coach said Tuesday, noting Frank did not practice Monday. “There’s a difference between being cleared and cleared to play vs. Plainfield North (Friday’s opponent at home).
“We’ll have to see how the week progresses. He could be in uniform and play in an emergency only situation. He’s definitely healing better than we originally thought.”
Frank suffered a break to his fibula, a non-weight bearing bone in his lower left leg
“They said it would be week-to-week and could take from three to 24 weeks, with 24 being a bit on the high end,” Cooney said. “You just never know how it’s gonna heal.”
Oswego, relying even more on its strong running game led by Treshon Weddington and Connor Cavins, turned to junior backup Carter Turnquist at QB and continued its winning ways.
Turnquist had his best game passing last week, rallying the Panthers to a 27-24 win with a 27-yard TD pass to Zach West in the final two minutes. He kept the winning drive alive with a fourth-down completion to West and earlier hooked up with the senior WR on a 67-yard scoring pass.
“(Turnquist) dropped it in there to him where only Zach could make the catch,” Cooney said of the game winner. “(Turnquist) was smiling ear-to-ear after that game. He was proud of what he did and he should have been.”
The Panthers will carry a 26-game Southwest Prairie Conference winning streak into Friday’s game as they pursue their fourth straight undefeated league title. Plainfield North enters with one league loss and has hopes of salvaging at least a tie.
Oswego closes the regular season the following week against 3-4 Plainfield South.
Frank, a Division I prospect with offers from Illinois, Miami of Ohio and Illinois State, made an official visit Saturday to Missouri and reportedly is still receiving interest from a number of schools, including Wake Forest, Wisconsin, Michigan State, Northern Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky and Vanderbilt.
“It was a good week,” West Aurora coach Nate Eimer said, reflecting on his team’s upset of unbeaten, No. 7 Waubonsie Valley.
“The kids were excited when they came in Saturday morning. They had a different, what’s the word, swagger, I guess. They were smiling more, that’s for sure.”
Eimer left his cell phone at the school for the game across town and returned after the win to find “40-some texts on it” from friends when he returned.
The Blackhawks hope to finish strong with this week’s rivalry game at East Aurora and season finale at home against Glenbard East. Wins could give them their best conference showing in more than a decade.
Sandwich senior linebacker Kody Randa heads the list of area tacklers reported to The Beacon-News with 84, 36 solo and 48 assists. Next up is Waubonsie Valley junior linebacker Max Ihry with 71 (49-29), who also leads the area with five forced fumbles and four interceptions.
Rounding out the top 10 tacklers are Waubonsie Valley’s Jake McCabe (64) and Luke Marzano (63), Batavia’s Nick Bernabei (63), Geneva’s Stephen Kemp (61), Oswego’s Zach Hergseth (57), Sandwich’s Austin Smith (57), Oswego’s Chad Marsh (54) and Batavia’s Colin Thurston (53).