Plainfield South Will Need The "Wright Stuff" This Week Versus Oswego

Plainfield South Will Need The "Wright Stuff" This Week Versus Oswego

Plainfield Central (4-2-0, 2-2-0 SPC) definitely had the "Wright" stuff going for them in their 27-19 upset victory over Plainfield South (3-3-0, 2-2-0 SPC) last week. And it wasn't the first time that Central has been able to win on the South Side as I alluded to in last week's preview. It is those doggone intangibles! But hey, they are part of the game aren't they? As for the "Wright" stuff, it was Plainfield South's Dantrell Wright who uncharacteristically helped put his team behind the eight-ball in a span of about 40 seconds when he muffed a fair catch punt and then watched as the ensuing kickoff fell in front of him and failed to cover it. It was a "LIVE" ball! Both of those mistakes were recovered by alert Plainfield Central players as  Mike Leffler recovered the fumble and Derek Bernascik fell on the live ball. Wildcat QB Tim Blake tossed two TD's off those errors to quickly stun the Cougars Homecoming crowd.

The damage, as they say, was done as the Cougars were down 13-0 after just 3:00 minutes had elapsed in the 1st Quarter and the Cougars never recovered. It must be pointed out, though, that South still had a chance at the end of the game to tie it. However, after some pretty horrific play-calling on that last drive - they couldn't convert a crucial 4th down play and wound up turning the ball over after reaching the Wildcat 38 Yard Line. Game Over!

Now, I don't want anyone thinking that Dantell Wright lost this game for the Cougars, because HE DID NOT! In the end, this game was a collective team loss and that includes  both Players and Coaches! Unfortunately, that was a big loss and could very well end the Cougars 2011 Season as they now must win out to make the IHSA Playoffs. Two of their final three games are against Oswego (4-2-0, 4-0-0 SPC), Plainfield East (2-4-0, 2-2-0 SPC) and Plainfield North (3-3-0, 2-2-0 SPC). And East is a vastly improved team.

So the Cougars back's are up against a wall and I am not so sure if they can pull it off. But it is possible.

I suppose the thing that bothers me most about watching South play is that they still have yet to play an entire 48 minute game. Their best game of the season was against Oswego East in their conference opener and even there they probably only played a solid 35 minutes. So I really don't know how to explain why such a talented team is unable to play up to its potential? This is a squad that has more than your average number of good players and most coaches would make a deal with the devil to get that many on the team at the same time.

Of course, Plainfield South isn't the only team to have a loaded squad. This week's opponent is just as stacked and talented. Oswego Panther QB Ryan West has been lighting it up this season and he has one heck of an arsenal in WR's Jack Kwiatkowski, Brett Wainwright, Elliot McGaughey and RB's Mikeel Stewart and Josh Mapalo. These five players have been his principle targets and all of them can catch and run.

Meanwhile, Cougars QB Austin Howarth has an outstanding cast of offensive weapons himself and wouldn't take them lightly either. WR's Dantrell Wright, Jason Ochoa, Joshua Harris, Ryan Turk and Jimmy Strauss can all hurt you, but he also has QB/WR's Ricky Luna and Tyler Butler who can rotate with Howarth in any variety of option sets. In addition to those players there is also RB's Jonathan Kosirog and Kwanez Gibson. Yes sir - Austin Howarth has no less than nine players who can catch and run the ball. And we haven't even mentioned the backup players.

Plainfield South also a very effective defense, albeit one who has played a lot of minutes. However the defense, led by Angelo Cervantes, Clifton Garrett and Jake Meeder,  would rate an edge over Oswego's. The thing about Oswego, though, is that they know how to come up with the big play when they need it to preserve a win. But they are porous as they give up an average of 30 points while the offense puts up an average of 33. So, if the Cougars want to win this game then it will be up to the Offense to exploit that defense. Let's face it, Ryan West will put up his numbers - they just have to put up more! The million dollar question, though, can the Offensive Line protect Austin Howarth this week? To date they have looked erratic, especially at Center where multiple players have had struggled.

So this is a big big game for Plainfield South and they will need to find the "Wright Stuff" if they expect to play a Week 10 Playoff Game. Besides, it isn't as if Oswego isn't beatable or that the Cougars don't understand their spread offense. Plainfield South will just need to play a complete 48 minute game this week and they must put up the points - because Oswego's QB Ryan West certainly will be putting some up for the Panthers!

Follow sMACkTalkMac on Twitter


Leave a comment
  • Mike,

    I see your frustrations are boiling over with South again. I totally understand that. I had those same feelings with several of the teams at Minooka between 2004 and 2008. Don't stoop to calling out the kids by name and position though. You're better than that. You have a son on the team and it makes you sound like one of "those parents." Call out the defense or offense as a whole, the schemes and/or the coaching staff but to say "the center position has been bad" or any other position is not a good idea-especially since your son is an o-lineman that for whatever reason, isn't starting. I'm not saying he should or shouldn't be but you can see how this comes off bad, right? Remember, these are still kids playing a game.

    Unfortunately, I think South's goose is cooked as far as the playoffs go. They needed to beat Central last week at home. If they finish 5-4, it looks like (as of now) they'd come up short on playoff points so at 3-3, they have a problem. I could see them winning all 3 remaining games or losing all 3 too. More than likely, they'll lose one (Oswego), win one (North or P. East), and who knows with the third (North or P. East). It's too bad because seeing them against Minooka, I DO think they have plenty of ability-although Minooka did kind of shut it down offensively in the second half of that game after building a 23-0 lead at the break. But you'd have to credit South defensively for stepping up too.

    As for the rest of the conference this week:
    Minooka over North by 3 TDs
    Oswego over South by 2 TDs
    Central over Pfld East by 1 TD (though this one could go EITHER way)
    Osw E over R'ville by 3 TDs

    Hope I'm wrong about the Cougars for Minooka's sake. I'd love to have the upper hand going into that Week 9 showdown at Oswego, even though I think the Indians will win that game. Next week shouldn't be a problem vs R'ville at home so if Minooka wins tonight and South pulls the upset, they essentially would clinch no worse than a share for the conference title. So Go Cougars!

    I'll fill you in on the Minooka/North game later tonight. I may get there a little late as I have to referee 7th and 8th grade girls basketball at Minooka Jr High before I can head to the game. With all the Homecoming stuff going on though, they probably won't start before 7:30 so hopefully, I can catch the kickoff. Talk to you soon, Mike!

  • Adam - I see your point but it is a juggling act when you write a blog that is meant to be objective. As you pointed-out not too long ago you thought I was too biased towards PSH. So for the sake of credibility it is necessary to forget that I am a parent of a player and am an observer first and foremost. BTW, my kid was a 2 year starter on the Soph Team at Left Guard and this year's Sr. starter is worthy of starting over him as he has played well and earned his position. My kid does get into the games though - but that is neither here nor there because if he erred over and over again - he would see the observer side of me as well. Believe me - there are no sour grapes over that.

    As for Dantrell Wright - every major article that I read on the game used his name, however - I clearly said Dantrell Wright DID NOT lose the game for South and that the loss was a collective effort. So again, we cannot cherry pick what I write. I encourage people to read the whole sentence or paragraph because I try to always quantify the statement.

    The reason the errors were spoken of is because anyone who reads my blog expects an account of what happened in the game and those two plays went a long way in breaking the teams back that night - as they never recovered and really that is the whole point, they are not a comeback team this year. Sometimes the truth hurts, but it is what it is.

    As for the Center position; well we have had multiple Centers who can't seem to get the ball down into Austin's comfort zone - and when Howarth is "hurried" - he is a much different QB. The Centers have also not been making all their blocks and then the guards have had to try and cover and makes it difficult. So it is a problem area and needs to be fixed in order to make the O-Line more effective. But it isn't one Center (or Guard or Tackle for that matter) over the another either, they all have had their problems. Strange though too because our O-Line is one of our strengths. Perhaps that is what is most frustrating.

    So really - this is not a rang-dang, especially given our email exchange (haha) just a fair observation as to why they lost (and have been losing)

    I suppose my tag line of "Telling it Like it Is" is difficult to accept but as a former athlete and career veteran I would rather have someone tell me straight up than sugar coat it - after all one must accept responsibility and learn from it.

    The biggest problem at South this season appears to be a coaching staff who has failed to use it's strengths and have put players out of their natural positions - not always successful - you know?

    In regard to your predictions: Yeah - I can see that very clearly. Plainfield East may surprise Central though so you covered yourself and I am not sure if Oswego East and Romeoville doesn't rate a toss up either. Kuna will probably put in some new players fighting for a Varsity spot next year now that they have been eliminated - their Soph Team has some nice players this year!

    Of course the dad side of me is rooting for Plainfield South over Oswego - but unless they make some changes and add their forgotten Triple Option I see them losing. Ryan West will put up points! But hey you have to show up and play the game.

    Minooka should win easily tonight so long as there is no over confidence (and I don't see that). North will be on the ropes after this one.

    Okay let me know!

  • Well Mike, The Homecoming Hangover struck the Indians early tonight. North's QB was AWESOME scrambling in the first half. Not bad throwing either but his legs were the difference. North went up 21-7 midway through the 2nd quarter. Minooka's defense made halftime adjustments and shut down the Tigers offense in the 2nd half. Minooka's offense shot themselves in the foot the whole first half. Once Minooka's defense ratcheted it up, North was done. And Kalvin Hill took over once the Tigers grabbed the 21-7 lead. Typical Homecoming game for the Indians...start flat but pull it out. I can't tell you how many times I've seen that movie over the years! Jake Petrovic, Lucas Carey, Alexander Hamilton, and Alec Vesper were HUGE in the 2nd half for Minooka's defense. Not a clean game by any means but a win nonetheless. Romeoville comes to Minooka next week before the big showdown at Oswego in Week 9. Next week should be a good opportunity for the Indians to clean up some miscues and get any kinks out. I can't see the Spartans being much of a challenge even if they play their best game of the year. I saw they beat Oswego East tonight. That surprised me but neither of those teams are very good. Looking forward to your assessment of the South/Oswego game soon! BTW, Briscoe was at the Minooka game tonight. It's weird not to see him on a sideline!

  • Sorry, forgot to mention final score: Minooka 28, Plainfield North 21.

  • In reply to adamminooka:

    Well it is 1AM and we just got in after a quick bite to eat after the game at Oswego. First off, don’t let the final score of 54- 32 fool you here – Plainfield South played this game to win and appeared that they would going into halftime down 27-20. They played the entire 48 minutes tonight and even though they lost – I am proud of the boys. We racked up 350+ Yards tonight and they had Oswego on their heels. The momentum changer was 2 interceptions by Austin Howarth as he tried to get a bit to fine threading the needle and the passes came up a little short. That gave Oswego the wiggle room on two scores and allowed them to hold off the Cougars. The O’Line, after my earlier observations, played one heck of a game tonight. They really worked hard in practice and you could see it.

    As a parent I am also pleased as my kid (“C”) got significant playing time and sprung Dantrell Wright for an 80 Yd TD with a HUGE block which gave us the first lead in a see saw game. In all, the kid was on the field for every score except 2. Enough gushing though. The starter in front of “C” was rejuvenated with the coaches decision to rotate the lineman and kept Oswego guessing all night and he played a monster game as well. We used basically one center (except for the end) and he did a really good job this week keeping the ball in the right place for Austin and his rotation / backups. The element of surprise and some new plays really sparked the team. RB John Kosirog was running nicely tonight and was either bouncing off or running over people. Dantrell, well, was Dantrell just a firecracker, running and catching. Of course there were many other contributors as well.

    But give Ryan West a lot of credit as he moved the ball around to his favorite 5 Targets, but it was 3 hand-offs (draws) that left our Defense flat-footed and they exploded for long TD’s. Mapalo and Stewart – Terrific players!

    In the end – a couple mistakes led to a momentum shift and opened the door for the Panthers. They earned the win, but I believe we were matching West – score for score and this one just slipped away from us.

    Much better game than the score indicates.

  • In reply to adamminooka:

    I saw that on WJOL Text - wow! Glad you saw Briscoe - he is a terrific guy.

    Well those Homecoming Blues are part of the intangibles my friend but I am glad you guys pulled it. Minooka has a fine team this year and will be a wonderful playoff representative for the conference.

    Jake Petrovic, Lucas Carey, Alexander Hamilton, and Alec Vesper having a HUGE GAME just doesn't surprise me anymore - these kids are intense and are game changers! I saw Romeoville pulled it out over Oswego East and I thought it was toss up. I figured Kuna was going to experiment in this one, but I'll have to see the box score to confirm that. Given that both were basically eliminated already - well - there was going to be some "next year looks" being made anyhow. Rightfully so!

    Me and the kid will go see the Central / East game later today (time changed to 1pm I heard). My kid wants to check out East's D line blitzes as he prepares for the next game. Plus he has friends on both teams - what are you gonna do, huh?

    Talk with you later.

Leave a comment