Big picture: The Whiting football team emphatically ended its regular season.
The Oilers squashed River Forest 55-0 in a Greater South Shore Conference game Friday at Ray P. Gallivan Field in Whiting.
“(An undefeated season) isn’t really important. Week 10 is pretty important, though. Week 10, 11 and 12 is what’s important,” Whiting coach Jeff Cain said.
The Oilers have finished first in the North Division or the GSSC outright every year since 2012. Whiting’s won five straight over the Ingots.
Nino Barbosa did the bulk of the damage offensively. John Bock did it on the defensive side, recovering a fumble and returning it 28 yards for a touchdown and intercepting a pass late in the second quarter.
“We’ve got bigger goals ahead and we’re excited,” said Bock, a senior linebacker. “We're energetic. We’re healthy. We’re going into sectionals strong.”
Whiting finishes the regular season undefeated for the first time since 2014.
Turning point: Junior quarterback Steven Connelly handed Barbosa the ball on the second play from scrimmage. The senior running back took it 45 yards for a touchdown.
River Forest player of the game: Sophomore running back Ayden Hernandez - He ran for 39 yards.
Whiting player of the game: Barbosa - He ran eight times for 99 yards and three scores. He also returned a punt 48 yards for a touchdown.
Quote: “I tell the kids that what we’ve had so far is a bunch of quizzes,” Cain said. “We’ve graded the quizzes and we got ourselves better. It’s time for a big test next week.”
Beyond the box score: Whiting opens the postseason with North Newton. The Spartans beat the Oilers 20-14 a year ago in the sectional opener.
“That was a knockout and a knockout early,” Cain said.
Up next: Roosevelt at River Forest (2-7, 1-5), 7 p.m. Friday in Class 2A sectional opener; North Newton at Whiting (9-0, 6-0), 7 p.m. Friday in Class 2A sectional opener