Waubonsie Valley's 40-21 win over Oswego gave Warriors football coach Paul Murphy victory No. 150 in his 24-year coaching career. Fifty-eight have been at Waubonsie Valley, the rest in 13 seasons at Marmion.
Murphy was persuaded not to say the landmark means he's been around a long time, a stock answer. Instead he gave another.
"It means I've had some really good players," said Murphy, undoubtedly a future Illinois High School Football Coaches Association Hall of Famer. "You can't win that many games if you don't have good athletes to coach. I had good athletes at Marmion and I've been very fortunate since I've been here at Waubonsie to have some really exceptional athletes."
He's got a few on this year's squad. After quarterback Jack Eddy and running back Tony Durns hit Oswego with a pair of rushing touchdowns and Oswego brought up its safeties to defend the run, Waubonsie used Eddy touchdown passes to Devin Strickland, Christian Gibbs and Durns to bulk up the score.
Murphy cited his 100th win, 10-6 over Neuqua Valley in 2007, as a favorite. He hopes more favorites follow.
"I just want to keep winning more games," he said.
It's a first:
While Murphy won his 150th game, Wheaton Academy's Brad Thornton won his first.
"It was a fun night on Friday night," the interim coach said of the Warriors' 40-8 victory over Chicago Bulls Prep.
Dramatically reducing its turnovers from a Week 1 loss to Westminster Christian of Missouri, Wheaton Academy immediately got things going the right way by driving the length of the field to score on quarterback Nathan Lopez's keeper, then followed with a special teams score on Luis Ramos' recovery of a blocked punt in the end zone.
Thornton got a kick out of seeing linemen Taylor Johnson, Daniel Sedjo, Chris Williams, David Westfallen and Theo Selvaggio working together, the latter two pulling off the line for blocks 15 yards downfield and opening holes for Lopez and tailbacks Camden Meade and Scott McLean.
The assistant coaches gave Thornton a game ball, which Thornton said was "unexpected and unnecessary, but a nice gesture."
"The focus should be on the guys and their efforts," Thornton said. "I'm pleased with it, but I'm mainly pleased with it because the guys got better, not for me. That was the highlight for me."
Lake Park travels to Naperville Central on Friday to play its first DuPage Valley Conference football game.
On the heels of a momentum-gaining 19-7 Week 2 victory over Lockport, the Lancers (1-1) need to be at their best against the unbeaten Redhawks' dynamic offense.
"This is going to say a lot about our program," said Lancers coach Chris Roll. "For a year this is what we've been talking about."
Unfortunately for Lake Park, the Lancers may have the toughest draw in the DVC. After playing Naperville Central they face Glenbard North, Wheaton North, Naperville North and Wheaton Warrenville South.
They may be a newcomer to the DVC, but the Lancers need to hit the ground running.
"That's our welcome to the DVC," Roll joked.
Addison Trail coach Paul Parpet often says his program hangs its hat on two things -- running the ball on offense and stopping the run on defense.
This season, however, the Blazers boast the ability to air it out thanks to junior receiver Jaavion Bradley. The 6-foot-3, 190-pound second-year starter already has 14 catches for 256 yards and 2 touchdowns from junior quarterback Mike Rybarczyk.
"Jaavion makes plays," Parpet said. "He's athletic, he has great hands. We need to keep finding ways to get him the ball."
Bradley proved to be especially important during last week's loss to Hinsdale Central. His defensive responsibility in the secondary was covering 6-6 Michigan-bound Red Devils receiver Ian Bunting.
"He's a special player," Parpet said. "He's only starting to understand how good he can be."
Benet has a history with St. Patrick that's easy to remember.
The Redwings' senior class has lost only four games in three-plus seasons, and two of the losses are to the Shamrocks. In addition to a defeat at the sophomore level, St. Patrick handed Benet its only regular-season loss last year.
Friday at Lisle's Benedictine University, Benet (2-0) takes another shot at the Shamrocks (1-1).
"I think our guys will be pretty motivated to win this one," said Benet coach Pat New.
Benet hasn't beaten St. Patrick since 2007. And after 2-0 starts in two of the last three seasons, the Redwings have failed to win their third game.
With all that in mind, you won't see a letdown for Benet heading into this one.
"We've been playing well so far, but we'll need to keep improving," New said.
They are iron men:
After Lisle surrendered a 20-0 halftime lead to Manteno and lost in the last 22 seconds in Week 1, the Lions got better with a 23-14 Interstate Eight Conference crossover win against Herscher.
Coach Dan Sanko dealt with some of the same issues, leading 20-7 at halftime but not clinching the win till Ben Buchelt's 32-yard field goal with 2:02 to play. A win's a win.
"I think we were all-around better," Sanko said.
A week after allowing 364 yards through the air alone the Lions gave up 254 total. Continuing an early trend of positive turnover ratio, A.J. Simpson picked off 2 passes, Alan Kass intercepted another, Charlie Jansen caused a fumble that Cliff Krause recovered.
Along with 260-pound junior Jared Arellano's top game at defensive tackle, Sanko said, senior Griffin Huba continued to polish rough edges as a starting varsity quarterback. Last year's fullback accounted for about 200 yards and tossed touchdown passes to Krause and Simpson.
"He did a better job managing the game," Sanko said. "We're starting to find out what he can and can't do. As far as him as an athlete, pretty good. He's an iron man. Him and Cliff Krause, Kevin Coppin, these guys are iron men."
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