OAK PARK — Kamal Bey didn’t find the end zone for Oak-Park River Forest, ranked No. 6 in the Sun-Times Super 25, but that doesn’t mean he wasn’t electrifying.
In OPRF’s 49-8 West Suburban Silver home win over York (3-2, 0-2), the 5-7 wide receiver/linebacker returned one punt 32 yards to the Dukes’ 2-yard line to set up the Huskies’ first score, while taking another punt 52 yards to the York 3, which led to another score. He also ran back a punt 54 yards for an apparent touchdown but it was called back for holding.
“I should have scored three times but that’s OK because we came out with the win,” Bey said. “That’s good enough for me.”
Bey, who is also the 160-pound defending state wrestling champ, hardly left the field for OPRF (5-0, 3-0). He had two tackles for loss from his outside linebacker spot, while shutting down the Dukes’ passing game at safety on obvious passing downs.
His ability to do so many different things on the field impresses Huskies’ coach John Hoerster.
“I don’t like to play kids both ways but he just makes it impossible not to keep him out there,” Hoerster said. “He’s a hybrid linebacker where you have to be athletic enough to play the pass and physical to play the run and he just has an instinct for the ball, uses his leverage and is in phenomenal shape. He’s such a special athlete and you know he’s going to make a play out there.”
While Bey couldn’t find pay dirt, OPRF quarterback Lloyd Yates (seven carries, 83 yards; 5-for-9 passing, 116 yards) should pitch a tent in the end zone. The Northwestern recruit ran for three scores (five, two and one yard) and tossed a 38-yard score to Kejuan Ratcliff, but he felt bad for Bey.
“He definitely got cheated out of his touchdowns, but he didn’t care because he just loves winning and the fashion in which we did,” Yates said. “Kamal is a freak and makes freakish plays. He’s an incredible football player.”
The Huskies also scored on a 2-yard run by Antonio Cannon, a 92-yard kickoff return by Dallis Flowers and a 15-yard carry by Sam Pochyly.
OPRF next has a showdown with No. 3 Glenbard West in Glen Ellyn.
“We’re rolling good and coming in hot for Glenbard West,” Bey said. “It’s going to be a battle and in the end it will be decided by who works harder.”
- York trailed 49-0 before getting on the board thanks to a 6-yard TD run by Lucas Alexander. Older brother Morgan Alexander converted the 2-point try.