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Prep Football

Saturday Morning QB: Saturday Morning Lights at E.C.

When Trino Cavazos left as E.C. Central's athletic director over the summer and Monica Maxwell took over, some paperwork slipped through the cracks.

One issue was that no football officials had been hired for the Cardinals football games.

Consequently, E.C.'s game against Hobart had to be pushed to 11 a.m. on Saturday because there were not enough officials available to work the game.

And Cardinals coach Jay Novak believes they've been able to pull a rabbit out of their hat for the home games against Gavit (Sept. 15) and Morton (Oct. 6).

But his team's Week 9 game against Hammond, more than likely, will be played on Saturday, Oct. 14.

Not an ideal situation for either team with sectionals following up the next Friday.

"Even without the mix-up, we have a shortage of officials all over," Novak said. "I've been told all around Indiana games are being moved to Saturday because there aren't enough officials to work all the games.

"This isn't ideal. This bleeds into next week with one day less to prepare. But we're just trying to make the best of it."

Several Lowell players were at the game scouting. Coaches were also in the stands getting a free look at both teams, which isn't the best.

"We've got to get some former players to come back and become officials," Hobart coach Ryan Turley said. "We need guys to give back to the game."

Or we could all be seeing more and more Saturday morning games.

Chaos at West Side, again

A very good crowd showed up for Friday night's game between visiting Bowman Academy and West Side. But the game did not start until 9:30.

They had to wait for the officials crew doing the Roosevelt game to drive across town and get on the field.

Bowman won the game 28-6. The final whistle was around 11:30.

"They wanted us to play with one official," Bowman athletic director Arthur Haggard said. "But I'm not putting the safety of my kids in jeopardy, having them play with one official. So they started calling people but couldn't get anyone to show up."

In 2013, West Side forfeited a win against Chicago Lindblom 2-0 because two unlicensed officials were used in the game and the IHSAA found out about it.

An announcement was made that people could get a refund when the long delay occurred but when they went to the ticket booth no one was there.

"Nobody got a refund," Haggard said. "Nobody was there. I know a lot of the West Side parents were angry about it."

Bowman is now 4-0, the Eagles' best start in school history.

Saturday Morning QB: The Crossin Route

Valparaiso's Michael Scarsella, center, reacts after catching a touchdown to help seal the Vikings' victory over Michigan City on Friday in Valparaiso. It was his first catch as a wide receiver in his varsity career.

The Crossin Route

It's never as good as your first time, right?

Your first pair of Nikes. Your initial trip to Wrigley Field. Your first car. Kiss. Concert. Girlfriend or boyfriend.

Everything else seems a little less after the first first, right?

Well, Valparaiso's Michael Scarsella had his inaugural trip into the end zone on a huge stage at just the right moment.

Hollywood would likely deny this script because it's so unbelievable.

Scarsella, normally a DB, caught a 34-yard touchdown pass from Reece Crossin with 13.1 seconds left in Friday's 17-14 win over Michigan City. It was his first game in high school at wide receiver.

Raise your fist in the air for this first folks.

“I told Coach (Dave Coyle) to just give me a chance,” Scarsella said. “I thought (Crossin) overthrew me at first, but I just kept running and stretched my arms out. I thought they were going to say I was out-of-bounds, but then they signaled touchdown. It didn’t feel like real life.”

It wasn't young man. You've just arrived on Fantasy Island.

Even Ricardo Montalbán has his hands in the air.

The play was sweet for both Vikings. Scarsella had a Pick 6 called back because of a defensive holding penalty. And Crossin threw a Pick 6 to City's Zachary Gault that tied the game 7-all

“We need to keep this train moving,” Crossin said. “This game was closer than we wanted it to be. Our defense did another great job.”

Three Observations

The champ gets off the mat

Whiting hadn't lost three straight since 2003. Yeah, it's been awhile.

The Oilers were thumped by Griffith in Week 2 and shocked by Boone Grove in Week 3. And they were losing to Wheeler 14-0 at the end of the first quarter.

Then, someone heard the alarm in the fire house and Whiting awoke.

"We prepared for ourselves this week. We had to get back to getting ourselves right," Whiting coach Jeff Cain said after the 36-14 must-win.

Nino Barbosa had a 48-yard punt return setting up Tom Davenport's 9-yard score. Whiting tied the game at half, then never turned back.

"Obviously that is huge and as a coach I don't think I have done a good job with game management this year," Cain said.

Wheeler coach Adam Hudak knows who Whiting is even if the Oilers are still trying to find it out.

"We knew Whiting wasn't coming to lose three straight," Hudak said. "That's a great team and there is a reason why they play until November every year.

"They are a championship team. We are trying to get where they're at. We have to learn from this."

Saturday Morning QB: The Region's best player?

Portage's Anthony Maceo tries to escape the clutches of Merrillville's Anthony Swims during Friday's game in Merrillville, which Maceo won with a late touchdown run.

The Region's best player?

Saturday Morning QB is getting a little fatigued about Portage's Anthony Maceo. I try to spread the love around all of the Region, but every Saturday morning I get a bowl of Lucky Charms and the Indians' QB.

That is every single everlasting Saturday morning. It's obvious that Maceo is magically delicious.

Unless you're trying to tackle him.

Maceo ran 14 yards around the edge at Demaree Stadium with his team chasing a point and scored with 22.4 second left to give Portage it's second straight DAC win, this one 28-21 over Merrillville.

Maceo had 105 yards on 33 carries and threw for 100 yards and another TD.

"That was just instinct," Maceo said. "I hit a spin off two guys, saw one guy coming, stepped back and hit the lane and took off. I was hitting all the back jukes and spin moves like I was playing the Madden video game."

Hey Anthony, can I please write about someone else next week?

Don't drop on the 'Dogs

Some were throwing the Crown Point Bulldogs into the trash heap last week. There wasn't a lot to talk about early. But that's a lazy assumption.

C.P. battled Lowell for four quarters in Week 1, losing 27-13. The 'Dogs pounded Highland 35-6 the following week, then had a chance late before falling to Merrillville 34-26 in Week 3.

So there wasn't much hoopla heading into Friday's game at Lake Central.

But maybe there should've been.

Crown Point pounded the Indians 45-0 with Tyler Gomez rushing for 192 yards and four touchdowns — making Gomez Saturday Morning QB's Player of the Night as his Bulldogs won their third straight against their rivals, only allowing nine points in the three games.

"I think the five guys up front set the tone as far as our run game," C.P. coach Kevin Enright said. "Fundamentally, we did a nice job of handling our responsibilities."

"Cheeseburgers and wings, all the time," said Gomez of what fuels his offensive line, giving Gomez a second honor.

This line is Saturday Morning QB's Quote of the Night.

Obviously, Crown Point has a chance to be pretty good the rest of the way.

And I'm not going to say much more because I'm hungry all of a sudden.

Thanks, Mr. Gomez.


Steve has won awards during two different stints at The Times. In addition to being the Prep Beat columnist, he covers football, boys basketball and boys track. He is a long-suffering Cubs fan.