PARK RIDGE — Quran Spillman is a player opposing football teams design game plans to stop.
But the Niles West senior receiver suffered a season-ending injury prior to Friday’s 65-21 loss to Maine South, the Sun-Times’ No. 4-ranked team. Maine South coach Dave Inserra said he found out about Spillman’s status and had the luxury of not worrying about scheming against the 5-11 speedster.
“He’s such a big playmaker for us and maybe our only true deep threat,” Niles West senior quarterback Tommy Galanopoulos said. “He takes the pressure off of our offense because of that. It hurt not having him.”
Through five starts, Spillman had 22 catches for 374 yards and seven touchdowns. He also had rushed for 113 yards and scored two TDs. In those games, Niles West averaged 46.2 points a game.
Spillman broke his left leg during a practice leading up to the Week 6 game against Waukegan. The Wolves won that game via forfeit because of the Waukegan teachers’ strike.
Galanopoulos said the injury happened near the sideline after Spillman took an option pitch from the quarterback.
“It was a freak thing,” Galanopoulos said. “Someone got pushed and fell into him.”
Niles West coach Scott Baum said having Spillman on the field wouldn’t have made a difference in Friday’s outcome, but his absence forced the Wolves to do some things differently. The result was the offense’s lowest scoring output of the season.
“Without Quran, it limits what we can do because others can’t do what he does,” Baum said. “We called on Matt [Galanopoulos] more and counted on him to pick up some of the slack.”
Matt Galanopoulos, the sophomore brother of Tommy Galanopoulos, caught 11 passes for 79 yards.
“We definitely got him involved more,” said Tommy Galanopoulos, who went 23-for-32 for 189 yards.