Waubonsie Valley likes what it sees against Oak Park
Season openers are the first chance to see what a high school football team is capable of and Waubonsie Valley's 23-14 win over visiting Oak Park-River Forest on Friday was no exception.
First on the list was the Warriors' ability to score a touchdown in the clutch. Waubonsie led just 17-14 at the end of three quarters and needed some space between themselves and the Huskies. On the eighth play of a drive that carried over into the final period, Demari Wilson made a spectacular catch for 7 yards as he juggled the ball while he himself was in the air, gaining control of it and getting a first down.
Two plays later, quarterback Ethan Nelson connected with Wilson on a 22-yard TD pass that made it 23-14 and gave the Warriors the breathing room they wanted.
"It's all about concentration," Wilson said of the first-down catch. "We work on that in practice. Guys come in front of you and you have to make the catch."
Secondly, Waubonsie's defense was unforgiving for practically the entire night, holding OP-RF to single digits in passing and giving up just two big plays that led to the Huskies' scores.
"Our defense is super aggressive and the kids execute. They line up and do their jobs," said Waubonsie coach Paul Murphy.
Also on display Friday was the Warriors' ability to make the big plays on offense. The shortest touchdown scored by Waubonsie was that 22-yard catch in the fourth quarter by Wilson.
Nelson and Elijah Lee connected on a 61-yard TD pass to on the game's first drive and just over three minutes into the third quarter, Nelson threw to Sean Clinton and Clinton turned on the afterburners on the final Oak Park defender chasing him for a 42-yard trip into the end zone.
In the postgame huddle Murphy stressed to his team what he liked about Friday's game but said improvement must be made from Week 1 to Week 2.
"We had a lot of big plays. But I was not pleased with the broken plays. We had to burn too many timeouts," he said.