Oak Park-River Forest running back Antonio Cannon lights up Proviso West defense

SHARE Oak Park-River Forest running back Antonio Cannon lights up Proviso West defense

OAK PARK — When Oak Park-River Forest, the No. 8-ranked team by the Chicago Sun-Times, needed something to happen on offense after a bad play or penalty in the first half, junior running back Antonio Cannon delivered the spark against Proviso West.

His big first-half runs kept drives alive and were crucial in a 35-13 win over the Panthers. He finished with 167 yards on 17 carries for the Huskies (3-0, 1-0 WSC Silver).

“He (Cannon) is a special player,” Huskies coach John Hoerster said. “He’s so strong, it’s difficult to take him down. He has good speed out in the open field and good vision going down the field. He’s been very special for us as a player.”

On the second play of the game, Cannon rushed for 50 yards to put the Huskies deep in Panthers’ territory. His carry set up a 19-yard TD run by senior quarterback Lloyd Yates, who had three rushing TDs and 97 yards on the ground.

In the second quarter, Cannon hurdled over a diving Panthers’ defender in the open field for a 30-yard run that set up another TD. Late in the first half, Cannon put the Huskies inside the 5 on a 14-yard carry that, together with a holding penalty, set the stage to put the Huskies up 21-13 and give them the lead for good.

Even though Cannon led the team in rushing, he did not score a touchdown. He didn’t mind because he sees the bigger picture.

“It’s all right,” he said. “I set the rest of those guys up to score. A touchdown is a touchdown and I’ll get those eventually. All that matters is that we win.”

Yates, his partner in the backfield, said the team has developed strong chemistry.

“We do a lot of individual work together and we have group time on the field and when we’re together it’s all about going really fast,” he said.

Cannon, who was primarily on special teams last year, still receives kicks and relishes the chance to contribute. He returned one kickoff for 22 yards.

“I love special teams and I’m glad I get the opportunity to help my team out any way I can,” he said.

  • Panthers senior running back Chance Haney ran for a five-yard TD and finished with 59 yards rushing on 16 carries and three receptions for 52 yards. Senior receiver Louis Brown Jr. had the other touchdown for the Panthers (1-2, 0-1) on a 32-yard reception in the second quarter.
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