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Penn at Valparaiso football

Antonio Osorio reacted after Valparaiso defeated Penn in the season opener.

LAPORTE — Antonio Osorio is a game changer with the way he spins and jukes his way through defenses and turns on the jets to reach the end zone.

The Valparaiso High School senior was lightning in a bottle again Friday night.

He wouldn’t have it any other way.

‘’I love football. I love it to death,’’ Osorio said.

The Vikings, ranked fourth in Class 5A, were scoreless against LaPorte until midway through the second quarter when Osorio ran the ball in from 35 yards.

The 5-foot-7, 160-pound Osorio darted through holes before they could close and raced by would be tacklers faked out by his moves.

His 15-yard touchdown run with seven minutes left in the third quarter seemed back breaking for the Slicers in front of their home crowd in the Duneland Athletic Conference for both schools.

Osorio rushed five times for 57 yards in the 35-0 win.

Again, his elusiveness seemed from the same highlight reel of former NFL running back great Barry Sanders, who often buckled the knees of defenders just when it seemed they were about to wrap him up.

‘’I’m a good dancer. I like to dance,’’ Osorio said.

Osorio said he’s not sure how he does it, but he relies on his instincts as plays are developing to avoid tacklers.

‘’That’s God leading me to score a touchdown,’’ he said.

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Osorio was living in Portage when he first started playing football in the seventh grade.

His real love then was basketball until someone took notice of his speed, which led to Osorio trying out for the team.

He later played on the freshman team at Portage High School. After moving to Valparaiso, he was on junior varsity squad as a sophomore.

Osorio was a major part of the varsity attack on offense last year just as he is this season.

He came into the game against LaPorte with two touchdowns, one each in victories against Penn and Griffith.

Osorio doesn’t get quite as many carries as fellow standout, junior Tommy Burbee, but he’s more than ready to make an impact whenever called to take the ball.

He said his primary focus right now is making it to the state finals at Lucas Oil Fieldhouse in Indianapolis.

Long term, Osorio has his sights on playing at the college and professional levels.

So far, the No. 13 on his jersey doesn’t seem to be the source of any bad luck.

Osorio said he was given the number, and he was simply happy just to have a varsity jersey to put on. He didn’t worry about superstition.

‘’I’m blessed," Osorio said. "I thank God for giving me these talents. I’m really grateful for the things that I have."

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