Early in the fourth quarter, with Reavis ahead 21-0, one of the Rams coaches shouted something from the sideline.
“Chew that clock up fellas, chew it up.’’
Aside from a fourth-quarter fumble that set up Shepard’s only touchdown, chewing up the clock is exactly what visiting Reavis did Friday night.
The Rams’ running game, which features three backs and quarterback Isiah Alpuche, along with a stout defense combined to give Reavis a 28-7 South Suburban Red victory in Palos Heights.
Khalid Norvell, Travis Liszewski and Calvin Jordan shared the carries running behind the offensive line of Lael Robles, Vincent Vertucci, Anthony Rodriguez, Alejandro Marmolejo, James Rapacz and Jakub Kacki.
Norvell’s 35-yard run to Shepard’s 19 set up a two-yard keeper by Alpuche that put Reavis (5-0, 3-0) ahead 21-0 with 8:35 left in the third quarter.
“I really give it to our linemen, the pushing that they get,’’ Norvell said. “We’ve been working hard. All we work on is discipline. I think we deserve to be 5-0.’’
“We’ve got one heckuva O line coach in Tony Pape,’’ Reavis coach Tim Zasada said. “He was an All-American at Michigan, so he knows a little about mashing and running the ball up and down the field. That was the game plan.’’
Reavis put together two long drives to take a 14-0 halftime lead.
The Rams marched 71 yards after the opening kickoff, aided by three Shepard penalties. Norvell scored from five yards out with 7:14 left in the first quarter.
“We’ve got two different running games. Me and Calvin are speed backs,’’ Norvell said. “This is our main back here (Liszewski), our power back. He beats them down.’’
Reavis’ three-back attack continued on an 80-yard drive that culminated with an eight-yard run by Liszewski on the third play of the second quarter. Matt Mulica hit on the second of four extra-point kicks.
“Every year we play them they’ve been very physical up front,’’ Shepard coach Dominic Passolano said. “They were able to move us off the ball, control the line of scrimmage on us.’’
Defensively for Reavis, Robles, Vertucci, Marmolejo and Rapacz did double duty on the line, and the Rams also got strong play from linebackers Theodore Piwincki and Daniel Herlihy.
An one-yard plunge by Demetrius Harrison put Shepard (2-3, 0-2) on the scoreboard early in the fourth quarter to make it 21-7.
Liszewski threw a 23-yard flea-flicker touchdown pass to Marc McClinton later in the quarter to complete the scoring.
Zasada said it’s the first time in at least 26 years that Reavis has started a season 5-0.
“We looked it up. We stopped looking after 26 years,’’ Zasada said. “It could be more, but it’s not less. So this is awesome for us.’’
Shepard has games remaining against Evergreen Park, Argo, Eisenhower and Oak Lawn.
“We look at it from here on out, it’s a playoff game every week,’’ Passolano said.