Mahoney-Hickey connection a dangerous one for St. Viator

  • jack Mahoney

    jack Mahoney

 
 
Updated 9/19/2019 7:33 PM

No wonder Jack Mahoney and Owen Hickey have great chemistry.

The two of them have been playing three sports together for most of high school -- football, basketball, and baseball.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

Right now, the two are pairing up to provide the St. Viator football team with a lethal aerial combination that has helped the 2-1 Lions to two straight victories.

Mahoney, St. Viator's quarterback, has passed for more than 300 yards and 6 touchdowns and more than 200 of those yards and 5 of those touchdowns have gone to Hickey, the Lions' top receiver.

"They are just very comfortable with each other," St. Viator coach Dave Archibald said. "After playing three sports together for all this time, they know each other's strengths and they have a sense for each other.

"Jack competes with so much energy and he has a lot of fun with the responsibility of his position and Owen is so good at getting the football in space. He attacks the football in the air. It's his and no one else's."

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Focus on defense: Prospect is averaging 44 points a game this season behind a strong start by running back Luke Zardzin, the leading rusher in the Northwest suburbs (700 yards) and quarterback Gary Moeller (11 touchdowns).

But the 3-0 Knights are also coming off a 51-0 shutout victory over Niles West last week in which the defense made a statement of its own.

"We've made some big plays on defense this year and that has put our offense in a really good spot," Prospect coach Dan DeBoeuf said. "They're playing at a different level than we did last year."

Linebacker Adam Mekky certainly looks like a different player than he was last year. The leader of the defense, Mekky spent the offseason transforming himself in the weight room and on the track."

"He has physically changed himself," DeBoeuf said. "He got stronger and he ran track for the first time last spring. A lot of our guys ran track for the first time ever last year and their speed increased and we've really started to see that on the field. Adam is one of those guys and he's made a lot of big plays for us on defense."

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

Long-range connection: There were some highlight reel plays for Palatine last week against Evanston between quarterback Joe Ayala and receiver Luka Popovic. The two combined for 3 total touchdowns, including passes of 69 and 65 yards.

"They were really nice play-action passes," Palatine coach Corey Olson said. "We were also running the ball really well and that helped (set up the pass)."

Popovic already has more than 400 receiving yards this season, including 100-plus yard games against both Evanston (170 yards) and St. Charles North (120 yards).

Talking take-aways: One thing that bothered Barrington coach Joe Sanchez after a 16-6 Week 1 loss to Warren was that his team forced no turnovers.

"We talked a lot about how we had no take-aways against Warren and how we needed to change that," Sanchez said.

Since then, the Broncos have had at least 1 take-away in their next two games, and interestingly, they were both shutout wins -- 42-0 against Buffalo Grove and 35-0 against New Trier.

Against New Trier, Barrington had 3 interceptions.

"It was all by our safeties," Sanchez said. "Adam Brokke had one on the first play of the game and Lucas Kozlowski had two. We like that. It helps give us good field position on offense and we are kind of forcing opposing offenses to feel uncomfortable.

"Our (defensive backfield) was great, but we also give a lot of credit to our front seven because they created a lot of pressure and forced the other quarterback to get rid of the ball probably faster than he wanted."

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