Stagg coach Colt Nero and his players enjoy snapping a 23-game losing streak Friday night. Photo by Stagg High School

Stagg coach Colt Nero and his players enjoy snapping a 23-game losing streak Friday night. Photo by Stagg High School

Pigskin Roundup: 23-skidoo — Stagg losing streak is history after season-opening win over Reavis

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By Jeff Vorva
Staff Writer

The boss got it right.

Before the Consolidated High School District 230 Board of Education Meeting on Aug. 25, Stagg Principal Eric Olsen talked to a news reporter about the coming football season. Olsen said the Chargers would soon snap their 23-game losing streak dating back to Week 2 of the 2019 season.

Twenty-four later, the Chargers vanquished that skid with a season-opening 14-8 victory over Reavis in Palos Hills.

The win gave Colt Nero his first as the Chargers head coach, and he was happy the team could savor a victory as they celebrated after the game.

“Our team has put in a ton of work throughout the offseason,” he said “They have done a lot of stuff that they haven’t done in the past. We’re seeing now that the work is paying off.”

The Chargers (1-0) took a 14-0 halftime lead and Reavis (0-1) scored in the fourth quarter to slice the lead to six. But Stagg was able to mount a clock-milking drive to end the game.

Lebarion Gilmore, who received an offer from South Dakota and has drawn interest from Akron and Miami (Ohio), thew touchdown passes to Justin Obradovich and Anthony Sukalo.

“We felt we were in control the whole game,” he said. “It was good to see that.”

The program is on the upswing and not just because of this win. The Chargers have bolstered the roster by more than 100%, going from the mid-30s to 70 players. That’s not easy to do with a team that hadn’t won a game since before the pandemic.

“We were vocal and willing to build relationships,” Nero said. “We have one of the youngest coaching staffs in the state of Illinois. We do a good job of going in the halls and talking with kids.

“I will also say this, our kids have done a fantastic job of getting their friends to come out. They are having a good time and bought in to what we’ve been preaching and it’s cool to see this come full circle because my first two years, we didn’t have the depth to do much.”

The Chargers visit Oak Lawn (1-0) Friday in a non-conference battle of Week 1 winners.

 

South Suburban Red

Argo’s Johnny Walker had 156 yards on 19 carries in a 32-14 victory over Joliet Central. Davonte Evans hauled down five passes for 118 yards. Argo (1-0) had 418 yards of offense and allowed just 165.

Oak Lawn topped Tinley Park 21-7 as receiver Eduardo Chiquito had 100 yards from scrimmage and a pair of touchdowns.

Evergreen Park opened the season with a 40-0 triumph over Manteno.

Richards was beaten 30-2 by Morgan Park at Gately Stadium in Chicago.

 

CCL/ESCC

Ryan Hartz, who replaced graduated star quarterback Jack Lausch, was 15 of 29 for 168 yards and three touchdowns and added a run for 20 yards in Brother Rice’s 46-0 season-opening victory over Hillcrest Friday night in Chicago. Randall Nauden had 66 yards on the ground as 10 Crusaders combined to run 30 times for 205 yards against the Hawks.

St. Laurence travelled to the Quad Cities and dropped a 27-21 decision to Moline. Aaron Ball racked up 101 yards and quarterback Danny Fitzpatrick threw for 147 yards. The Vikings (0-1) host Brooks in what will be the first game on the new turf at Kavanaugh Field in Burbank.

St. Viator spoiled new De La Salle coach Marty Quinn’s debut with a 35-7 win over the Meteors. David Coffey had a 93-yard kickoff return for the Meteors’ lone score. Myles Greene had two interceptions for De La Salle (0-1).

 

Chicago Public League

Curie opened the season with a 14-6 triumph over Mather, scoring with 1:50 left in the game.

Kennedy beat Roosevelt, 27-14.

Solorio Academy dropped a 6-0 decision to Agricultural Science.

Back of the Yards had a rough go with a 60-8 loss to Phoenix.

Lindblom beat Catalyst-Maria, 14-0.

Grayslake Central beat Hubbard, 47-0.

 

West Suburban

Jack Chaney ran for 228 yards and four touchdowns while Travis Stamm had six catches for 105 yards to lead Lyons to a wild 38-35 road victory over Buffalo Grove.

 

Metro Suburban

Chicago Christian jumpstarted the season with a 19-0 victory over Sullivan.  Zeke Goble returned a kickoff for a touchdown.

Riverside-Brookfield knocked off Morton, 35-28. Morton’s Julian Hernandez threw for 240 yards.

 

Southwest Suburban Conference

Sandburg’s Christian Evans threw three touchdown passes in a 56-20 road loss to Prospect. Prospect scored 50 points in the first half. Sandburg hosts Glenbrook South Friday, a team that knocked off Rolling Meadows, 51-21.

Elsewhere in the SWSC, Bolingbrook freshman Jonas Williams made one of the most spectacular debuts in Illinois history, throwing for 407 yards and seven touchdowns in  a 49-12 win over Minooka.

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