Look at him now.
As a junior, Brett Wainwright played safety and kick returner for Oswego’s football team. Over the summer, despite having highly-touted freshman QB prospect Steven Frank make the varsity before attending a high school class, new Oswego Coach Brian Cooney and his staff met with Wainwright.
“We needed a mobile quarterback to run this offense, so they brought me into the office and wanted me to do it,” remembers Wainwright, a diminutive 5-foot-9 and 155 pounds. “I said, ‘Yes,’ to it.”
As it turns out, Wainwright’s evolution at the position has been a big reason why the Panthers are 2-1. He was 9-for-12 passing for 172 yards and two touchdowns and added a rushing TD in Friday’s 42-0 manhandling of Minooka in the Southwest Prairie Conference opener as Oswego bounced back from an ugly Week 2 loss to Waubonsie Valley.
“When you look at the two quarterbacks we have, the freshman (6-2, 170-pound Frank) is more the passer and Brett’s more the scat back,” said Cooney, who said in the preseason that both would play.
“You can do some things, roll (Wainwright) out of the pocket. I am very proud of Brett.”
Through three games, Wainwright has completed 19 of 31 passes for 331 yards and seven TDs with only one interception.
Geneva’s sophomore quarterback Daniel Santacaterina suffered a broken collarbone in the third quarter of last week’s 35-21 loss to arch-rival Batavia on a hit by Bulldog lineman Marquise Jenkins.
“(Santacaterina) is out for the foreseeable future,” Geneva athletic director Jim Kafer said. “It was a good, hard-fought game and it was a clean hit on the play. Unfortunately, Danny got hurt. It wasn’t malicious or anything like that.”
Defender to watch
Oswego East (2-1) and new coach Tyson LeBlanc shoot for their first Southwest Prairie Conference win Friday at Plainfield South, which is coming off a 35-19 loss last week to Plainfield North. LeBlanc’s Wolves fell 33-6 to Plainfield East.
“I know they’re athletic, but quite honestly, being the offensive coordinator I haven’t concerned myself much with what they have on offense,” said LeBlanc.
“I do know that they’ve got an outstanding linebacker in junior Clifton Garrett, who plays downhill and is getting a lot of D-I looks. He’s 6-3, 220 and I believe has offers from Ohio State and Notre Dame. We’ve gotta get a hat on him, that’s for sure.”
Speed to burn
After watching junior Javon Montgomery motor 81 yards for a TD with the kickoff that opened the second half against Sandwich, Plano coach Jim Green conceded that “we need to get the ball in (the 5-10, 165 junior’s) hands a little more. I don’t think there was any doubt he was the fastest guy on the field.”
After Eloy Carrera’s 26-yard scoring run with 7:30 remaining against Sandwich pulled the Reapers within the final margin — 16-12 — Green had his team go for the two-point conversion hoping it would allow him the opportunity to try a game-winning field goal later in the game.
“We only had 10 guys on the field (for the two-point run that came up short),” Green noted the next day, speaking with WSPY (107.1-FM) radio’s Jim Teckenbrock on his Saturday morning sports show.
Green also noted that senior linebacker Zach Peruski rang up 18 tackles (9 unassisted) for the Reapers in the game.
McDonald stars for Sandwich
“He’s a force on offense and defense and he knows that,” Sandwich coach Dusty Behringer said of LB/FB Seth McDonald, who piled up 123 yards rushing against Plano.
“We had to focus on doing little things well with all our players all the way down to our third-string tight end. … This Plano team is a very good team and I’m very proud of our guys and playing the way we did and being disciplined, at times, on defense and with our blocking roles on offense.
“That loss (to Wilmington) last week stung for about four or five days but we had to hit the erase button and move on.”
Junior Liam Crotty’s 27-yard field goal with 1:29 left in the third quarter gave the Indians a 9-6 lead.
“That’s the first field goal (of his career),” said Behringer. “I was glad to see that. He’s a junior who has been living in the shadow of his older brother, P.J., who was a good running back for us the past couple years. It was nice to see him come out and hit that. He’s worked hard at it over the summer and is very consistent in his range.”
This week’s DuPage Valley Conference game pitting West Aurora at Naperville Central will be broadcast live on the school’s website (www.sd129.org) and on High School Cube.
Rick Armstrong contributed to this report.