Imagine what Addison Trail running back Nick D'Ambrose could do when he's healthy.
D'Ambrose ran for 214 yards and 2 touchdowns on 26 carries in the Blazers' 28-0 season-opening nonconference football victory at Glenbard South on Friday night.
Suffering from a bulging disc in his back, D'Ambrose also spent a night in a hospital in the middle of July with rhabdomyolysis, a serious muscle syndrome.
"I've just been coming back from that," the senior said. "It's been a rough journey, but I had a lot of setbacks, but I'm excited. They picked me up. I've been just getting back into practice and stuff on my doctor's orders."
"He's had a rough summer, but he's battled through it and we got what we expected out of him," Blazers coach Paul Parpet Jr. added. "That's what we expect out of Nick. He's a horse. And a healthy Nick, you never know what can happen."
Fortunately for the Blazers (1-0), the doctor declared D'Ambrose ready to go, though muscle spasms in this calf slowed him down Friday.
"I've just been playing through it, and I know what I've got to do to get better now," D'Ambrose said. "I've got to work on my cardio. I drank so much water today, but it's not going to cut it."
D'Ambrose scored the only points of the first half, a 2-yard touchdown run with 9:09 left in the second quarter.
"We've got a lot of juniors on our team, so I think it was just a matter of getting the jitters out and then just getting in our rhythm," D'Ambrose said. "...We got our rhythm in the second half and the (offensive) line blocked great and our whole offense executed. Our junior quarterback (Nick Dadudelin) was great today, controlled the offense."
The Blazers opened the third quarter with a 75-yard drive that ended in a 15-yard D'Ambrose TD run to make the score 14-0.
But D'Ambrose's favorite touchdown of the night was one he didn't score. On the first play of the fourth quarter, offensive lineman Randall Petrbok fell on a Blazers fumble in the end zone.
"He deserves that," D'Ambrose said. "He's a great offensive lineman. He's a three-year starter. We're lucky it wasn't a touchback, but I'm glad he got a touchdown. I would want him to get that every day. He works so hard. And I love the kid. I'm so glad for him."
Dadudelin added a 1-yard TD run to finish the scoring.
Meanwhile, the Addison Trail defense held the Raiders (0-1) to just 5 first downs.
"I was more impressed with our defense than our offense," Parpet said.
"What it boils down to is a war of attrition," Raiders coach Ryan Crissey said. "We had a few guys with Adam (Haushahn) and Nick (D'Ambra) and Jake Jochums going both ways. You saw the second half that they started cramping up, but what it boiled down to was the defensive line play for Addison Trail. Their front four dominated our guys up front and they changed the line of scrimmage which impacted what we could do offensively."