Pat Disabato’s football notebook

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Lincoln-Way North’s Jaylen Branch and Lincoln-Way Central’s Sean Studer showed on Friday why they’re regarded among the elite running backs in the Southland.

Branch racked up 177 yards and three touchdowns to help North to a 30-27 win. Studer posted 199 yards and two scores.

However, the performance of Phoenix receiver Kyle Ostrowski was equally impressive. The 6-3 senior, already committed to Purdue on a baseball scholarship, recorded five catches for 107 yards. Each catch more acrobatic than the last.

North coach George Czart wasn’t surprised.

“He’s been making catches like that for so long,” Czart said. “He is one exceptional player. He could go to college on a football scholarship.”

Instead, he’ll take his golden left arm and 90 mph fastball to the Boilermakers baseball program. That is, if he’s not selected in Major League Baseball’s June Amateur Draft.

Stars Pull Stunner

One of the biggest upsets of the season occurred on Saturday when Rich South downed Rich East 14-13.

The Stars entered the game 1-4; the Rockets 5-0. Not only that, Rich South had been outscored 182-34, while Rich East held a 162-77 advantage against its opponents.

However, with Sauk Trail Super Bowl bragging rights at stake, Rich South rose to the occasion and earned the road win.

“I think I’m still on cloud nine,” said Andre Taylor, Rich South’s first-year coach. “The one thing I’ve been telling the kids since the beginning of the season is that we hadn’t put a complete game together. If we could do that, I believed we had a chance to beat Rich East.”

Rich South actually trailed 13-0 midway through the second quarter. That’s when Tevin Sudduth took over. The senior cornerback/receiver intercepted a Rich East pass, setting the stage for the comeback.Sudduth caught two touchdown passes that gave Rich South a 14-13 halftime lead.

“When Tevin got that interception, the momentum changed,” Taylor said.

The Stars defense made the slim lead stand up.

“The kids played hard and they were determined to win the game,” Taylor said. “They were so excited to win the Sauk Trail Super Bowltrophy. We had to take 1,000 pictures on Saturday.”

Taylor hopes the victory is the start of a winning streak that will get the Stars to 5-4 and into the postseason. They travel Friday to Kankakee.

“If we can win out, I think we’ll have enough playoff points to make it in to the playoffs,” said Taylor, whose Stars already have 32points. “Once you get hot, especially in high school football, anything can happen.”

Pugh Leads Bloom

Beyond the rain and soggy field conditions Saturday, there was one other constant during Bloom’s 8-7 win over Crete-Monee: the play of linebacker Kyle Pugh.

The Blazing Trojans senior made his presence known throughout the game, producing tackles that had the crowd buzzing. He also blocked a punt attempt by the Warriors.

Pugh, however, didn’t want to talk about his performance post-game. He preferred to shine the spotlight on Bloom’s football program.

The young man is as humbled as he is skilled.

“Our defense was breaking down film on Crete-Monee all week,” said Pugh, a Northern Illinois recruit. “It definitely helped us. We were ready. This shows the pride we have in Bloom football. This team wants to make its mark on the program. This was another step in doing that.”

The victory snapped Crete-Monee’s 34-game conference winning streak, which dated back to the 2007 season.

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