Naperville Central’s Bobby McMillen passes tests, ruled healthy to play

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Perhaps the worst thing you can see at a high school football game is a kid leaving the game in a stretcher in real pain.

That was the exit Naperville Central senior linebacker Bobby McMillen made near the end of Saturday’s 20-6 loss at Waubonsie Valley.

The Iowa State recruit collided with a teammate while diving to make a tackle and compressed his neck against his spine. Fortunately, the results of a late Saturday night CT scan and X-rays were positive and he shouldn’t miss any time.

“I’m feeling a little stiff, but overall everything is good,” McMillen said. “I just have to get back my range of motion.”

Losing McMillen would have been costly for the Redhawks, especially with a big local showdown Friday against Neuqua Valley.

“It’s never fun to lose but we had a lot of positives on Friday and Saturday,” he said. “We know we’ll get better each week.”

Saturday night Drendel

An added bonus of Naperville North avoiding a weather-induced postponement on Friday night was that it freed up coach Sean Drendel to attend Saturday’s Waubonsie Valley and Naperville Central game.

The last time Drendel was at Waubonsie Valley wasn’t a good one as the Huskies saw their season end 31-20 in an opening-round playoff game last season. On Saturday, Drendel was still smiling after the Huskies’ huge 14-13 win against Neuqua Valley.

The Huskies aren’t scheduled to play the Warriors this season, but they have their annual clash against the Redhawks scheduled for Oct. 3 at North Central.

One more time

Metea Valley senior Bryson Oliver nearly duplicated last season’s rushing totals in Friday/Saturday’s 45-28 win against Plainfield North.

Oliver rushed 39 times for 305 yards and four touchdowns a season ago. In his 2014 debut, he carried the ball 34 times for 256 yards and three TDs. He also caught an 11-yard touchdown pass.

The Mustangs expect big things out of Oliver this fall and he couldn’t have gotten off to a much better start.

Pickin’ it

What a tremendous defensive effort by Benet against Downers Grove South. Just about every player on the defense entered the season with limited experience, but they certainly didn’t look like it in a 26-16 victory.

Mac Cooney had a pair of interceptions and Jack Brown had another as the Redwings were able to get to Mustangs quarterback Jordan Skach. Last year, Skach only threw three interceptions while tossing 16 TD passes.

“It was started with the defensive line. They were able to get pressure on the quarterback,” Cooney said. “They forced him to make errant throws and our DBs worked well in figuring out routes and coverage.”

Uh-oh offense

Neuqua Valley is accustomed to putting big numbers on the scoreboard, but the Wildcats struggled against Naperville North in Friday’s 14-13 loss. The 13 points were the least they’ve scored since a 34-7 loss to Bartlett on Oct. 14, 2011.

Give credit to their defense though. They were able to remain in the game even during a night when the offense struggled.

A few local grads

Mike Dudek shined in Champaign on Saturday. The Neuqua Valley grad (2013) had three catches for 61 yards and a touchdown to help Illinois beat Youngstown State 28-17.

Waubonsie Valley grad Mitch Ewald (2009) was in preseason camp with the Denver Broncos, but was waived last week after the Broncos traded for kicker Brandon McManus.

Glenbard North grad Justin Jackson, who rushed for over 700 yards and nine TDs in wins against Naperville Central and Naperville North last year, scored his first touchdown and had 40 rushing yards in Northwestern’’s 31-24 loss to Cal on Saturday.

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