Plainfield South Scalped By Minooka 23-7
The long-anticipated Rumble on Ridge looked more like Custer's Last Stand as the Minooka Indians (3-2-0, 3-0-0 SPC) scalped the Plainfield South Cougars (3-2-0, 2-1-0 SPC) on Friday Night. That scalping, though, was mostly self-induced as the Cougars committed way too many mistakes on the offensive side of the ball to give their defense much of a chance of keeping them in the game. The Cougar Defense has improved steadily since the season began and this loss was not due to any serious defensive lapses. Instead, this was an erratic performance by the Plainfield South Offense. Each time it appeared as if the Cougars would score they would make another costly mistake to assure Minooka's 23-7 victory.
But before we look too deep into the woes of the Cougars offense, we shouldn't take anything away from Minooka. The Indians earned their victory the old-fashioned way as they played nearly error-free ball for the entire game. Head Coach Kooi and his staff prepared their squad well for this game and the Indians took advantage of every mistake, forced or otherwise, that Plainfield South made. Adding to Plainfield South's woes was the fact that Minooka's Kicking Game was exceptional too, South was forced to start deep from within their own territory for much of the evening.
The Hammer and the Nail, though was Minooka's Defense! They came up big all night long and the play that would set the tone for the entire evening was a huge interception to end the 1st Quarter. After the Cougars had driven down to the Indian 2 Yard Line, Luke Carey was able to intercept an Austin Howarth pass over the middle and return it 58 yards just as the quarter ended. That interception led to the second TD of the evening for RB Kalvin Hill.
Although Hill's run was a thing of beauty - but I think the officials muddied it by blowing a 34 yard hold on his interior lineman who held a Cougar defender the entire 34 yards to the goal line with an official looking straight into the play. Absolutely Terrible! As a matter of fact - this was one of the worst officiating crews I have seen in quite a while and just confirms to me that the IHSA still has some consistency issues with its' crews.
So in spite of the fact that Minooka played a brilliant game many people will be left with that image of a "HOLD" that wasn't called as well as some other obvious ones. And that is a doggone shame because as bad as the officiating was - it had very little to do with the Cougars losing. It really did come down to the Cougars making costly mistakes at the wrong time! Although Plainfield South was able to clamp down on the Minooka Offense as the game progressed, it was the inspired play of the Indian Defense that kept them in control. Luke Carey, Alex Hamilton, Walter Vesper, Jake Residori and Jake Petrovic all played a B-I-G games on Friday Night as they won the battles, big and small. As I have said before - Minooka is the cream of the crop in the Southwest Prairie Conference and until another team can elevate their game to match - they will continue to win the big games.
Still, I would be remiss in saying that even though Minooka's performance was brutally efficient, their game plan is not unbeatable. It is a power running game and the Cougar Defense, in spite of playing a good game, didn't fill the gaps at times and that led to to some big rushing gains. Then again, when defenses are left on the field for long stretches at a time, well, something has to give. And I really don't care what level of football we may be talking about (Prep To Pro) - if you keep a defense on the field for three-fourths of a game you will have a very hard time winning against a quality team.
In spite of it all, though, the Plainfield South's defense was able to limit Kalvin Hill to a fraction of what he rushed for the week before. Hill was held to 117 yards on 23 carries. Normally when a defense can contain another teams primary offensive weapon it should bode well, at least in theory. Somehow though, that didn't happen Friday Night as the Cougars stalled one offensive drive after another with bad or dropped passes, bad snaps, fumbles, interceptions and even a muffed fair catch.
Meanwhile, Cougar QB Austin Howarth's offensive numbers were decent as he completed 20 of 33 passes for 241 yards. Austin Howarth, though, made the bulk of his yardage on long-gainers in this contest. Many of his shorter passes were off the mark at times, but I have to wonder if that isn't due to an offensive scheme that isn't exactly scaring-off too many defenses right now. Then again, Minooka's defense was on fire and the offensive line was having a problem getting the job done and protecting him. I just don't know what it is but the O-Line has struggled these first few games and weren't working very well together Friday Night. Dantrell Wright was limited to 10 yards rushing on 10 carries and 5 receptions for 73 yards. And one of those catches was a 45 yarder. So as you can see, the Minooka defense keyed on Dantrell Wright all evening while dominating the Cougar O-Line. I suppose when you take both of those elements out of the game - well, things are going to go from good to bad in a hurry.
Still, the bright side for the Plainfield South Cougars was their defense and right now they are the team's strength. Hopefully the offense will be able to come around for their next match-up versus district rivals, Plainfield Central because it absolutely essential for Plainfield South to elevate their game. Mistakes (mostly silly) have killed them all season. However, if the Cougars finally figure out how to play without making those mistakes - they are as dangerous as any team in the area.
And if they don't? Then the Cougars will have a hard time the rest of the way.
It is Week Six and every game now becomes a must win!
In Friday's Other SPC Action:
Plainfield Central Wildcats Edge Oswego East Wolves 14-13:
The Plainfield Central Wildcats (3-2-0, 1-2-0 SPC) defeated the Oswego East Wolves (2-3-0, 0-3-0 SPC) 14-13 after erasing a 13-0 4th Quarter deficit. After playing a scoreless 1st Half, QB Dakota Skenendore (13 of 24 for 132 Yards) was able to put the Wolves on the board when he ran for an 88 Yard TD and later hit his brother Chase Skenendore for a 37 Yard TD, however they missed the PAT. Plainfield Central scored their 1st TD early in the 4th Quarter when Tyler Erdman ran it in on a 2 Yard scamper. QB Tim Blake (9 of 20 for 75 Yards) scored the tying TD on a 1 Yard Run and Kicker Mike Fischer converted the PAT for the win. RB Jordan Ellingwood added 109 Yards on 20 Carries for the Wildcats.
Oswego Wins Wild One With Plainfiield East 43-36:
The Oswego Panthers (3-2-0, 3-0-0 SPC) eked out a come from behind 43-36 victory versus the Plainfield East Bengals (1-4-0, 1-2-0 SPC). Plainfield East's Myles Walters stunned Oswego with a game opening 94 Yard TD Return and recovered an onside kick immediately afterwards to take a quick 9-0 lead. However, both teams waged a slugfest the rest of the way with Oswego winning their third consecutive conference game. Oswego QB Ryan West was 15 of 24 for 205 yards and 3 TD's, while Jack Kwiakowski had five catches for 80 yards and 2 TD's (the 2nd being the game-winner). Oswego's Brett Wainwright had a combined 105 yards (82 Receiving / 33 Rushing). Bengals QB Robert Zamora went 27 of 45 for 236 Yards and 2 TD's and Juwan Straughter had 11 catches for 109 Yards and Shekeal Taylor added 170 Yards Rushing on 22 carries.
Plainfield North Demolishes Romeoville 42-0:
The Plainfield North Tigers (3-2-0, 2-1-0 SPC) blasted the Romeoville Spartans (1-4-0, 0-3-0 SPC) 42-0 to ruin their Homecoming Game. A balanced attack let the Tigers spread the scoring around to pound the host Spartans. Plainfield North QB Kurt Palandech completed 9 of 10 Passes for 194 Yards and Jay Roberts carried the ball 17 times for 128 Yards and 2 TD's. But, it was Alex Starks who really made the Spartans pay with his 7 carries and 30 Yards as he scored 3 TD's! Romeoville QB James Rooks completed just 3 of 10 for 45 Yards and an Interception while Perez and Miguel Ford were held to 19 Rushing Yards!
Tags: High School Football, High School Sports, Minooka Defeats Plainfield South, Minooka High School, Oswego East High School, Oswego High School, Plainfield Central High School, Plainfield East High School, Plainfield North High School, Plainfield South High School, Sports