Waubonsie Valley coach Paul Murphy kidded after Friday’s win against Neuqua Valley that touchdown runs have gotten in the way of the passing game this season.
Now, that’s a good problem to have, isn’t?
“When you’re calling plays in other games and you get a big run when you’re only expecting maybe a five-yard gain, that throws your whole filter out of play calling,” Murphy said. “There are times where I’ve had a pass play all lined up, because I think two or three plays ahead, and I’ve got a pass play in mind, and all of a sudden, we’re running for a touchdown.”
The Warriors (7-1, 5-1) relied heavily on the pass on Friday.
Wide receiver Keaton Casey entered the game with only six catches for 137 yards, but he caught eight passes for 139 yards and two touchdowns, including the game-winner to beat the Wildcats.
“We can’t come out with the same stuff,” Casey said. “We changed it up and it worked.”
It may also work in their favor when they get into the postseason as teams can’t just focus on the run.
“You’ve got to be multiple,” Murphy said. “You’ve got to be able to throw and be able to run, and in our case, the option gives us another avenue that teams don’t normally see.”
The final countdown
Thank the schedule makers for this one.
Wheaton Warrenville South (4-4, 3-1) travels to Naperville Central on Friday night needing a victory to qualify for the playoffs. Remarkably, if the Tigers win, they’ll also share the DuPage Valley Conference title, something the Redhawks hope to win outright as they haven’t been champions since 2001. If the Tigers lose, their season is over.
It should make for a fascinating night of football, especially since the Tigers have had their backs against the wall after starting 1-4. Since then, they’ve beaten Naperville North while also winning a couple of nail-biters against Lake Park and Glenbard North.
The teams met in Week 3 with the Redhawks prevailing 10-7 on Connor Assalley’s 29-yard field goal as time expired. The Redhawks only allowed 135 yards in that game and just six first downs but they were also shut out in the first half.
He runs so far away
Opponents are putting themselves at risk by kicking the ball to Neuqua Valley sophomore Isaiah Robertson.
Robertson had a huge 70-yard kickoff return — a season-best — during Friday’s loss to Waubonsie Valley. He has returned 11 kickoffs for 373 yards, an impressive 33.9-yard average.
He’s also made some plays returning punts, which is far more difficult to do. Robertson’s returned 11 punts and is averaging a very solid 12.5 yards, with a season-best of 29 yards. Also, he’s second in the area in receiving yards (573).
When Lake Park’s Kenny Jones found the end zone on a 2-yard run with just 3:08 remaining in Friday’s game against Naperville Central, it was only the second time all season an opponent has scored against the Redhawks in the fourth quarter.
Metea Valley’s Bryson Oliver has now rushed for 250 yards or more in half of the team’s eight games.
Benet (5-3) should be able to finish the regular season with a win. The Redwings face Marian Catholic (1-7) on Friday. The Spartans have dropped seven straight and been outscored, 301-94.