Trotter, Schaumburg zip past Wheeling
The lightning and rain that developed just two minutes into the second half at Wheeling High School on Friday night caused nearly an hour delay before the teams returned to action 9:40 p.m.
But Schaumburg's Heze Trotter has already stirred up things quite a bit with his own lightning speed in the first half.
The Saxons' senior wingback/defensive back/punter did it all with 43- and 10-yard touchdown catches from Marcus Ross, and an 83 punt return in the game's first 13 minutes to give the Saxons a 20-0 advantage.
For good measure, he added a 42-yard TD catch in the second half as the Saxons rolled to a 37-6 triumph for their first win of the young season.
"Huge credit to the offensive line," said Trotter, a starter since freshman year. "I have the easy job, just catching the ball and making a couple of people miss. They (offensive line) have the hard job, making contact. I have to give big ups to them and to Marcus for putting the ball on the money every time."
Putting up the protection for Ross were Aleen Okanovic, Michael Dan, Cameron Davis, Brendan Schweigert and Dane McMahon as Ross finished 6-for-12 for 129 yards an no interceptions.
"Overall, I thought out O-line did a tremendous job with protection," said Saxons coach Mark Stilling.
The line also helped Michael DiGioa rush for 94 yards and AJ Prowell raced 69 yards for the visitors final TD with 2:14 left in the game.
"I thought Mike DiGioa was a work horse," Stilling said. "He ran really hard and made some nice reads. And I thought Marcus did an outstanding job in terms of composure, feeling the pressure and stepping up."
Jonathan Mueller, who booted 4 extra points, added a 20-yard field goal on the last play of the first half to give the Saxons a 23-0 lead.
Wheeling had some key defensive stops in the third quarter and was able to score its only touchdown when Ryan Glassberg's 9-yard run culminated a 61-yard drive that began following a fumble recovery by William Snarski.
"After the rain delay our kids came out prepared to play," said Wheeling coach Brian Hauck. "They had a little fight in them and were able to stabilize things. Then all of a sudden we started having mistakes again like in first half.
"We came out of the delay with the purpose of fighting. They've got it in them. We still have a lot of season left and these boys are working very very hard. We've got to get right back at it."
The Saxons' defense was at it all night in yielding just 6 points.
"Tyler Fortune, a sophomore defensive back playing in his first varsity game, didn't look like it to me," Stilling said. "And I thought Vince D'Orazio (defensive back) had a number of knockdowns. Any time a ball was in his direction, he got his hand on it.
"Our defense made a number of stops time and time again when it had its back to wall, and that was impressive."
Trotter finished with 3 catches for 95 yards and he rushed for 21 yards.
"Obviously, he is a dynamic runner," Hauck said. "Mark runs a great program over there and they were able to expose some of weaknesses to their advantage. Hats off to them.
"We are a very tight team. Our boys are always lifting each other up and rooting for each other. This is one heartbeat. We're there. The problem is were just not executing the way we should be and that is the coaches who need to get that fixed. That's our job."
Trotter said the job done by his teammates allowed for his success.
"We just really practice trusting each other," he said. "So the confidence is there for me. I take pride in being very versatile. I'm really proud of our defense. It did an amazing job holding them to 6 points. We got big stops, and the offense did an amazing job finishing plays. I couldn't be prouder of the whole team."