Two teams fresh off uplifting victories in Week 1 will collide Saturday afternoon when South Elgin hosts Benet in the Courier News Season Pass spotlight game of the week on highschoolcube.com.
The Redwings staged a full-fledged offensive uprising in their opener, trouncing Washington 62-0. The rout was just what the doctor ordered for Benet, which combined to score only 43 points during the entire 2011 season while posting a 1-8 record.
The Storm also displayed some offensive firepower in its first game as it outlasted Downers Grove South 48-35. The hard-fought win lifted the expectations for South Elgin, which entered the campaign with a lot of question marks after losing several talented seniors from last year’s 4-5 squad.
“There were a lot of new faces and we wanted to see how they’d play and respond,” South Elgin coach Dale Schabert said. “I thought they did a great job against a very high-quality program in Downers.”
The Redwings barely broke a sweat while pummeling Washington, which made the trip to Lisle from Chicago’s southeast side. Jack Toner ran back the opening kickoff 95 yards for a touchdown and running back Porter Ontko had scoring runs of 1 and 78 yards on his first two touches as Benet bolted to a 55-0 lead by halftime.
While the Redwings certainly weren’t complaining about playing with a running clock throughout the second half, they are well aware a much more difficult test awaits this week.
“Last game we pulled our starters out after the first quarter, and our starters know this game is gonna be a four-quarter battle,” Benet coach Pat New said. “So I think in that sense South Elgin has a little advantage over us because those guys played a full, four-quarter game already.
“Offensively, we want to try and build on what we did last week. We just ran some off-tackle and then a little bit of option. That’s just kind of our base package, so we hope to expand a little bit on that this week.”
South Elgin saw enough from Benet’s blowout win to know it could be in for another dogfight.
The Redwings have a tough schedule ahead in the rugged East Suburban Catholic, so a 2-0 start in nonconference play could be critical to their chances of makingreturning to the playoffs for thea second time in three years.
“When you watch (Benet) you see they have a very good defense, they’re disciplined and you can tell everyone knows their assignments,” Schabert said. “Offensively they’ve got some big receivers, running backs that can run and a big, tall quarterback that can see over the top.”
South Elgin showed off its wealth of offensive options while scoring 34 second-half points in last week’s victory. Junior quarterback Rob Cuda completed 16 of 30 passes for 251 yards, senior receiver Joe Crivolio caught seven passes for 123 yards and two touchdowns and senior Jeff Broger ran for 161 yards and two touchdowns on 19 carries.
“We know that when we face a team that just put up 48 against Downers Grove South there’s gonna be a large difference in the level of competition this weekend,” New said. “Our players are smart enough to understand that.”