Richards freshman running back Ladarrius Foster runs past the Oak Lawn defesne during the Bulldogs’ 27-2 win on Sept. 15. Photo by Xavier Sanchez
Richards downs Oak Lawn in crosstown clash
By Xavier Sanchez
Merriam Webster defines a rivalry as “one of two or more striving to reach or obtain something that only one can possess.”
In sports, that makes both sides of any competition rivals, but the term is often reserved for a special matchup, of sorts.
One of those is Oak Lawn and Richards, which are both located in the former’s eponymous village and are separated by just 2.5 miles.
Unfortunately for the Spartans, they have not fared well the last 15 seasons against the Bulldogs, with their last win coming in 2008.
That streak will continue for at least one more year. Richards running back tandem of Myles Mitchell and Ladarrius Foster carried the Bulldogs (2-2, 2-0 South Suburban Red) to a 27-7 victory over the Spartans (1-3, 0-2 SSC Red) on September 15.
It was a rough go for both teams to start the game, with the first score of the game coming early in the second quarter.
To get things going, Richards coach Anthony Sheehan opted to run the offense out of the Wildcat formation. Shortly after, Myles Mitchell scored the first touchdown of the evening.
“He’s very versatile,” Sheehan said of his junior running back. “He can do it all. We put him in a lot of spots and try to get him the ball.”
“We can put him in the slot, put him outside, and in certain things we can put him at quarterback. We just want to get the ball in his hands.”
Oak Lawn responded on the ensuing drive, as quarterback Kyle Bader and company needed just five plays to go 65 yards to the end zone. Bader took it in himself for a touchdown and a tied game.
Two minutes into the second half, Richard quarterback Dijon Newman found wide receiver Shaun Reynolds for a 21-yard touchdown pass.
Mitchell scored again in the third and Foster marched the Bulldogs into the end zone for one final score to close things out.
Sheehan is happy to have Foster, a freshman, in his backfield.
“He’s a load,” Sheehan said. “He’s good.”
Mitchell is thankful for his running mate.
“When things aren’t going right for me, he’ll go in and make a play, and then I’ll go in and make another play,” Mitchell said. “He’s a talented young kid.”
After starting the season being blown out by Morgan Park and Libertyville, Richards has won its first two SSC Red matchups. Mitchell said he and the rest of the Bulldogs are going to remain focused.
“It was a good team win but we got to be better moving forward,” he said. “And get ready for Evergreen Park.
The Bulldogs host SSC Red rival Evergreen Park on Friday (3-1, 1-0). Oak Lawn will play at Reavis (2-2, 1-1).
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