Newcomers help Burlington Central open FVC play with win
Burlington Central's young football team grew up in a hurry last Friday.
Seven sophomores started for the Rockets in their victorious Fox Valley Conference debut against Dundee-Crown in Carpentersville.
Things didn't go so well at the outset for the new kids on the block. Central trailed 9-0 at halftime.
"The game was too big for them in the first half, too fast for them," Rockets coach Brian Melvin said of his first-time starters. "But they kept their poise. We told them at halftime they were up on varsity for a reason. They just needed to settle down, just get that first score."
Sophomore running back Gavin Sarvis scored on a 14-yard run in the third quarter, part of his 125-yard performance.
Junior quarterback Mark Ganziano, who split time at the position last week with senior Jake Lenschow, put Central ahead midway through the fourth quarter with a 10-yard run. Sarvis added the 2-point conversion and the Rockets held on for a 15-9 victory.
"It was like our sophomores became men and our seniors became leaders. It was awesome," Melvin said. "It was a special night because people said we weren't going to win one game in the FVC. We won on all three of our levels, varsity, freshman and JV."
This Friday Burlington Central hosts Crystal Lake South, which was shut out 34-0 last week by Cary-Grove. The game features an intriguing matchup between future collegiate players. Crystal Lake South offensive lineman Dominic Collado (6-4, 300) is committed to Miami of Ohio. Central defensive end Matt Muetterties (6-5, 265) is a two-way starter headed to Western Illinois.
Melvin and Collado's father, Damien, were teammates on the 1994 Larkin football team that finished 6-3 but missed the playoffs on a coin flip.
"I met Dominic over the summer and he's a great kid," Melvin said. "It's awesome to see a friend's kid doing so well. I can't wait to see those two players go against each other."
Making an impression: Huntley coach Matt Zimolzak knew what kind of players his defense had coming back in all-conference linemen Matt Burba and Brad Walker and leading returning tackler Rukkus Hunkins at inside linebacker.
The fourth-year coach said linebacker Tristan Carone "was kind of a surprise" in last Friday's 56-0 win over McHenry. The 5-foot-9, 170-pound junior made 9 tackles, 4 of them solo, notched a tackle for loss, a quarterback knockdown and a fumble recovery.
"We knew what our D-line could do and we knew what Rukkus could do, but we were looking for those role players in the linebacker crew," Zimolzak said. "Tristan learned our system and spent all off-season getting better and doing what he needed to do. That he performed so well is something we're really happy about."
He said it: "We've known all along he was going to be a bear to take down and he proved that to us." -- Bartlett coach Matt Erlenbaugh on senior running back Tyler Rivelli (5-8, 180), who rushed for 162 yards and 2 touchdowns on 8 carries in a 43-8 win over East Aurora.