West, IC Catholic pass test with Riverside-Brookfield
The way IC Catholic Prep quarterback CJ West sees it, he is just doing his job.
But perhaps West is not giving himself enough credit. He did his job and then some in Friday night's MSC Blue showdown at Riverside-Brookfield.
With two quarterbacks out due to injury in earlier games, West was inserted in the starting role and excelled in leading the Knights in this big game. The senior passed for 2 touchdowns and ran in another score in the first half to power his team to a big halftime lead en route to a resounding 45-0 victory over the Bulldogs in Brookfield.
"It was kind of a tough change," West said. "Since this injury (to Khalil Saunders last week) happened, I had to step up and play quarterback. Next man up. Got to do his job. My line was phenomenal and my receivers were phenomenal. I just gave them the ball and they made plays."
West showed a nice touch on both short and long passes. He finished 6-for-11 passing with 233 yards and 3 touchdown tosses. The ICCP offense racked up 627 yards of total offense, including 389 yards on the ground behind a strong offensive line of Ricky Mysliwiec, Dylan Packer, Ryan Kenneally, Kermon Reese and David Vargas.
Running the ball with reckless abandon was Lazerick Eatman, who piled up 112 yards on 13 carries, including a quick strike 26-yard scoring run through the middle of the defense late in the first quarter. Eatman also had a couple of touchdown catches.
Just as impressive was the second-half running clinic put on by Knights freshman halfback Kyle Franklin, who relieved Eatman. Franklin exploded for 220 yards on 16 carries. His longest run of 68 yards was highlight-reel material. He used his experience as a wrestler to keep his balance and stop from going down, bouncing off a few would-be tacklers as he raced up the sideline to cross the goal line.
"With that run, I just had the mindset of keep it going -- keep my feet going and always running," said Franklin, who was playing in his fourth varsity game. "Tonight was an amazing night. I have to give all the thanks to my blockers, the linemen, because without them I wouldn't be able to do this."
The ICCP (5-1, 2-0) defense had a strong night too, limiting high-powered R-B (5-1, 1-1) to only 109 yards of total offense. Sean Hipskind had an interception and a fumble recovery. On offense, he had a 80-yard touchdown reception. Linebackers Kevin Cook and Reese were in the Bulldogs- backfield for sacks and tackles for loss. Knights coach Bill Krefft liked the contain play of defensive ends Jack Enright and Parker.
"We run our base defense -- trying to let our kids play fast and do their jobs," Krefft said. "We made sure we put an emphasis. They have athletes and we are going to have to tackle athletes in space.
"I challenged our team in the locker room. This was going to be one of the best teams that they will face all year. Our kids responded. They were dialed in for this football game and really wanted to come out and show their best."
Kicker Joey Maci'gerace gave the Knights a 31-0 lead at halftime with a 32-yard field goal with 29.9 seconds left. He made all the extra points, too.
"(The Knights) are a great team," said R-B coach Brendan Curtin. "They have a well-balanced offense and do a good job of mixing things up."