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Sandburg shreds Lockport defense, block last-second FG attempt to secure win

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By Randy Whalen
Correspondent

Anthony Shelton burst on the scene a year ago in a big Sandburg win over Lockport.

The Eagles junior last week solidified himself as a top quarterback in the South Suburbs with another win over the Porters.

Shelton threw for 300 yards and a pair of touchdown passes as Sandburg (3-1, 1-0 SouthWest Suburban Blue) hung on for a 30-28 victory over the Porters (3-1, 0-1 SWS Blue) on Sept. 15 in Orland Park.

“This means a lot,” Shelton said. “It was the first conference game and there were a lot of people doubting us. But we got a big win. I had to be a gunslinger out there and we couldn’t have done it without the big boys on our (offensive) line.

“We just have to keep this momentum going. It’s a huge confidence-builder for us.”

Several Eagles underclassmen including junior linebacker Declan Glynn and sophomore kicker Drew Drzonek contributed to the victory. Glynn blocked a potential game-winning field goal attempt; Drzonek, in his first varsity game, was 3-for-3 on field goals. Freshman running back Quinn Durkin ran for a touchdown.

Then there were the usual standouts. Junior wide receiver Charlie Snorek caught 11 passes for 171 yards and a TD and sophomore Luke Basiorka had 31 carries for 166 yards. The two talented playmakers are being counted on to be Shelton’s primary weapons, and through four weeks have delivered.

“I think this was our barometer,” Sandburg coach Troy McAllister said. “Lockport is a really good, physical team and this win is a credit to what we are doing.”

Shelton has now had two consecutive elite performances. In a 41-34 win over DeKalb in Week 3, he finished 22-of-28 for 325 yards and five touchdown passes, while running for another.

He praised his offensive line of junior Matt Marek, senior Zach Barrett, junior Luke Czerwinski, senior Judeh Ali and senior Ahmad Kamel.

Shelton connected with senior Sean Weisberger (3 receptions, 111 yards) on a 69-yard TD pass to give Sandburg a 30-21 lead with 9:22 to play in the game. The Porters responded, with senior running back Jordan Kemp scoring his second touchdown of the night on a 7-yard run with 4:48 remaining.

Lockport got the ball back at their own 35 with 2:14 to play and advanced to the Eagles’ 28-yard line. Porters senior kicker Nate Blazewski, who has successfully made kicks of 49 and 51 yards this season, lined up to attempt a potential game-winning 45-yard field goal, at which point Sandburg called a timeout with seven seconds to play.

When play resumed, Glynn raced in off the edge to get a hand on the ball, which fluttered about 20 yards before falling harmlessly to the field with two seconds on the clock.

Shelton found Snoreck for a 74-yard TD pass to tie the game at 7-7 with 5:06 left in the first quarter, but the stalemate lasted mere seconds as Porters junior Johnny Wesolowski returned the ensuing kickoff 82 yards for a TD for a 14-7 Lockport lead.

Drzonek kicked field goals of 37, 23 and 31 yards — the last one as time expired in the second quarter — to held Sandburg to a 16-14 lead at halftime. The sophomore learned the previous day he would be kicking on the varsity team versus the Porters.

“I was prepared and just had to get the nerves out,” Drzonek said. “It was awesome to get this win on Homecoming and experience a game like this, especially against Lockport.”

The Eagles opened the third quarter with 11 straight runs, including nine consecutive carries by Basiorka, who accounted for 78 of the 80 yards covered on the drive. Durkin capped it by scoring from 2 yards out for a 23-14 Sandburg lead with 7:17 left in the third quarter.

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