Undefeated Lemont gains shutout against T.F. South

SHARE Undefeated Lemont gains shutout against T.F. South

Lemont didn’t need much from its offense in the second half on Friday night. The Indians received more than enough from their defense and special teams.

Hunter LaDuke scored on a 12-yard fumble recovery 52 seconds into the the third quarter, and Flynn Nagel added a 68-yard punt return for a touchdown less than two minutes later as Lemont battered visiting T.F. South 35–0 in a South Suburban Blue opener.

The victory gives Lemont (3–0, 1–0) the same win total from last season and avenges two consecutive defeats at the hands of T.F. South (1–2, 1–0).

“We came out and hit harder than them, ran faster than them and made improvements from last week and the week before,” LaDuke said. “We’re not that big of a defense. The tallest kid on the team is 6-foot, 6–1 tops. The intensity is where we had them.”

Holding a 7–0 lead at the break after a 3-yard touchdown run from Chris Thompson, LaDuke and Co. made the rest of the night miserable for T.F. South. The Indians recorded six sacks and 15 tackles for a loss.

“They pitched a shutout,” Nagel said of his defense. “I think it’s going to continue all year.”

Nagel, a Duke recruit, caught two passes for 18 yards, including a 7-yard touchdown from Ryan Dawson to make it 28–0 after his punt return for a score.

“I caught a bunch of blocks on that return, and I only had to break one tackle,” Nagel said.

Freshman running back Anthony Martin notched Lemont’s last score on a 54-yard sprint. Martin finished with 164 yards on 15 carries and broke seven different runs for at least 10 yards.

“It was 7–0 at the half, and we thought we could still make a ball game of it,” South coach Tom Padjen said. “It was a horrible offensive showing in the second half. Turnovers and a punt return for a touchdown and all of a sudden it was 21–0. We didn’t make the adjustments.”

T.F. South battled injuries on its offensive line and later lost quarterback Cody Petrich (3-for–9, 26 yards) after he took a big hit in the pocket.

Lemont coach Bret Kooi played under Padjen at T.F. South and said it was a distinctive moment to play against his former coach.

“I tried to keep it low profile with the kids, but it was a special moment for me,” Kooi said. “How many opportunities do you get to coach against a guy who coached you when you were younger and was a big influence on what you did?”

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