Downers Grove South tops Addison Trail
Downers Grove South junior Eli Reed already is an established big-play receiver with multiple Division I football offers.
The question was how quickly new starting quarterback Ryan Dawson could progress this football season. Only a sophomore, Dawson played quarterback for the first time as a freshman season after previously always been a lineman.
"Since last year, he's just improved so much. It's crazy to see," Reed said. "I love throwing with Ryan. He's a great kid. I can't wait to see what he does next year."
Reed and Dawson connected often Tuesday, including huge 64- and 83-yard touchdown strikes in the second quarter that fueled the Mustangs to a 24-14 West Suburban Conference Gold victory over Addison Trail in Downers Grove.
Reed caught five passes for 168 yards -- all in the first half -- for the Mustangs (1-1, 1-1 in Gold) after 101 yards in the opener. Reed also scored his second rushing touchdown this season on a 3-yard run as quarterback in the power set for a 28-7 lead in the third quarter.
Dawson was 9 for 12 for 187 yards, also connecting with Patrick O'Neil and Mack O'Halloran along with a two-point conversion pass to him.
"Eli's a good player and Ryan's learning how to play quarterback," Downers South coach Mark Molinari said. "He did a good job getting him the ball and then Eli took it to the house a couple times. It's nice to have a player like him when you're throwing the ball."
Addison Trail (0-3, 0-2) took its first lead of the season at 7-6 on a 1-yard sneak by junior quarterback Sammy Renc.
Just two plays later from the 46-yard line, Reed got a step past the Blazers' young secondary and Dawson's pass hit him in stride at the 32.
On the Mustangs' next possession, it took just one play to score. Reed caught a right-sideline pass at the 35, quickly cut inside and then broke free down the sideline. The Mustangs led 21-7 at the half.
"I love throwing to Eli. He's always open," Dawson said.
"Once we get a lot of momentum, we play well as a team," Reed said. "It was about getting in the end zone. That's all that mattered at the time (trailing 7-6). We needed to take the lead and take control of the game."
The Mustangs scored on the game's first possession, going 50 yards on four plays with senior Rashon Murff scoring on a 6-yard run. The extra-point kick failed. Murff rushed 12 times for 83 yards.
Addison Trail received another outstanding game from senior running back Eric Reed (123 yards on 30 carries), who had his second straight 100-yard rushing game and rushed for a 5-yard TD in the fourth quarter.
Renc complemented that with 20-for-27 passing for 241 yards and four 20-yard plus completions. Uzair Ahmed caught eight passes for 84 yards and Reed five catches for 26 yards.
"We've just got to keep improving," Addison Trail coach Chris Bazant said.
Addison Trail reached the 4 late after a 58-yard completion to Ahmed and fourth-down 25-yard pass to Brandon Konrad before the drive ended on downs.
"(My receivers are) good at tracking the ball when I had to scramble. We worked on scramble drills. (And) I love my linemen. They give me all the time I need," Renc said. "No matter what the scoreboard is, we get better and better each week."