With a 41-7 win against Springfield on Saturday in the Class 6A playoffs, No. 1 Crete-Monee earned a rematch with Peoria Richwoods.
Richwoods beat the Warriors 51-36 last year in Peoria in a second-round game. The score was 44-7 at one point, so it wasn't that close. This year the game is at Crete.
The Warriors knew Richwoods had beaten Bloomington before they took the field against Springfield, but Crete linebacker Nyles Morgan said they never gave it a second thought.
"We were focused on this game and wanted a good start," Morgan said. "We are anxious to play Richwoods again, but we knew we had to take care of business first." !~ Mike Nieto
Wildcat football: Thornton coach Bill Mosel said after Friday's 23-21 win against T.F. South that Jason Towns epitomizes what Thornton football is all about.
That is a big compliment when you consider Mosel has sent several players to the NFL and many more to major colleges, including current Thornton assistant Tai Streets, recently retired Antwaan Randle-El, Napolon Harris and Barry Gardner.
"He plays with a lot of heart, but he also has some great talent," Mosel said. "He has a 4.0 GPA, so he works just as hard in the classroom. He is a real pleasure to coach." ~! Mike Nieto
Good season: T.F. South offensive lineman Sammy Kessler said while he and his teammates would have liked to keep playing, the season was somewhat successful.
The Rebels lost 23-21 on Friday to Thornton in a Class 7A first-round playoff game. South tied for the South Suburban Blue Conference and won seven consecutive games at one point. Last year, South was 4-5.
"We proved that South football is back and we laid some good ground work for next year's team," Kessler said. "We had an exciting year and to come back and win conference, that was quite an accomplishment." !~ Mike Nieto
The Oklahoma Kid: After Crete-Monee's 41-7 win against Springfield on Saturday, Crete assistant coach Greg Murray made an "O" with his hands. He was not saying the defense should have had a shutout, but for his alma mater, Oklahoma. He played for Barry Switzer in the 1980s. Though the Sooners lost to Nortre Dame, Murray said he is more concerned with the Warriors.
"Our (Crete's) state championship hope lives on," Murray said. "To me that is the most important thing right now." !~ Mike Nieto
Big Tuna: Crete-Monee defensive tackle Rodolfo Antuna had what he called his best game in Saturday's win against Springfield.
He had six tackles and forced a few Senators runners into one of his teammates. Antuna, who is called "Tuna" by his teammates, said he felt good on the field.
"Everybody has to contribute," Antuna said. "The coaches had me in there to make some plays and I was just doing my job."
When he came off the field in the third quarter after a defensive stop, teammate LaQuon Treadwell yelled, "Tuna, All-American." !~ Mike Nieto