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Football Wrap | Evergreen Park tops Eisenhower, likely earns playoff spot

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By Mike Walsh
Correspondent

In his first year as the head coach at Evergreen Park, Jim Ramazinski has had plenty of items to address on his to-do list.

One of them, however, was not finding a bell-cow running back. Senior Antonio Clay-Jones is a three-year starter who is both talented and reliable.

One week after torching Oak Lawn for 245 yards and three touchdowns on 13 carries (18.8 yards per carry), Clay-Jones ran for 107 and a TD in the Mustangs’ 24-22 South Suburban Red victory over Eisenhower on Oct. 6. His efforts helped Evergreen Park move one win away from an automatic playoff berth as the Mustangs improved to 5-2 overall and 3-1 in the South Suburban Red.

The five victories will likely be enough to get a spot in the playoffs should Evergreen Park falter in its final two games.

“Antonio’s having a phenomenal year for us,” Ramazinski said. “He’s a leader, he’s carrying the load on offense and he’s our workhorse. He does a lot with the help of our offensive line and I’d like to see where this goes.

“Antonio’s not the biggest kid, but he has excellent vision, he’s a hard runner and he gets to the second level and takes off.”

Evergreen Park junior running back David Johnson chipped in with 11 carries for 51 yards and a touchdown.

Quarterback Aidan Bench, in his third game as the starter, completed 8-of-9 passing against the Cardinals for 84 yards, including a 24-yard TD strike to Jed Adjayi.

“In the past few games, Aiden has played really well for us,” Ramazinski said. “He had a great bounce back game against Oak Lawn, and Eisenhower is a tough, well-coached team.”

The Mustangs defense did their part, recording three interceptions for the second consecutive game. Linebacker Jayden Pittman picked off a pair of passes while Adjayi, who plays safety, had the other.

“For sure, our defense played well,” Ramazinski said. “Jayden didn’t have a pick before last night so that’s very cool.

“This was a big win for us. It felt good.”

 

St. Laurence 31, Marmion 6
St. Laurence improved to 6-1 with a CCL/ESCC crossover win in Burbank as Aaron Ball carried 15 times for 99 yards and scored on runs of 10 and 34 yards. Harley Rizzs (6 carries, 40 yards) scored on a 27-yard run while Evan Les (8-of-12 passing, 92 yards) hit Kyle Richardson with a 38-yard TD strike. Colin Bagley added a 43-yard field goal for the Vikings, who have their best record after seven games since 2009 and have established themselves as one of the top teams this season in Class 4A.

Defensively, St. Laurence was led by Jace Chamberlain (10 tackles, 1½ sacks), Cesar Chavez (8 tackles) and Timmy Allison (8 tackles, interception).

 

Nazareth 31, Brother Rice 30
Nazareth sophomore quarterback Logan Malachuk completed 17-of-29 passes for 292 yards and connected with Jake Cestone for scores of 5, 17, 19 and 53 as the Roadrunners edged Brother Rice is a CCL-ESCC crossover in LaGrange Park. Cestone finished with seven catches for 137 yards. Jimmy Penley (8 catches, 141 yards) and Andrew Fowler (20-yard field goal) also contributed for the Roadrunners.

The defending Class 5A state champs will travel to Marian Catholic next week before hosting CCL-ESCC Orange rival Wheaton St. Francis in Week 9. The Roadrunners have won four state titles since 2014 but need to win both of their remaining games to qualify for the playoffs.

Randall Nauden carried 25 times for 233 yards, including touchdowns of 28 and 67 for the Crusaders (3-4). Marcus Brown added 153 yards on 18 carries and tallied on a 1-yard run. Ronan Culkin was good on field-goal attempts of 26 and 41 yards for the Crusaders.

Rice needs to win both of its remaining games to avoid missing the IHSA playoffs for the first time since 2017. They will host Montini this week and close out the regular season at home against St. Rita.

 

Chicago Christian 19, Bishop McNamara 12
Obi Goble returned a kickoff 87 yards for a touchdown as Chicago Christian (4-3, 2-3) was victorious in a Chicagoland Christian Conference matchup in Kankakee. Christian Fluteman (7-of-12 passing, 45 yards; 12 carries, 48 yards) found the end zone on a 1-yard run. Austin Huizenga (40-yard run) also scored and Caden Boersma had four catches for 32 yards.

 

St. Francis 31, St. Rita 28
An 18-yard field goal in the fourth quarter was the difference as St. Rita fell to 4-3 overall with the CCL-ESCC crossover loss. Nick Herman scored on an 84-yard kickoff return and a 22-yard run for the Mustangs. Herman finished with 34 yards on nine carries.

Jimmie Maxson III caught a 36-yard TD pass from Steven Armbruster (2-of-8 passing, 57 yards).

James Franklin scored on a 50-yard fumble return for the Mustangs.

 

Mount Carmel 21, Fenwick 9
Alonzo Manning rushed for two touchdowns as visiting Mount Carmel (7-0) prevailed in a CCL-ESCC crossover at Triton College. Darrion Dupree added a TD on the ground for the Caravan.

 

Reavis 35, Shepard 21
Reavis (4-3, 3-1) was a winner in South Suburban Conference Red action as Jorden Brown rushed 34 times for 280 yards and two scores. Josh Mendiola contributed an interception for the Rams.

Shepard dropped to 1-6, 0-4 in the South Suburban Red.

 

Marist 54, De La Salle 28

Marist quarterback Owen Winters threw TD passes to Devin Hamilton (26 yards) and Talan White (19 yards) as the host RedHawks (2-5) prevailed in a CCL-ESCC crossover. Winters finished the game 10-of-15 passing for 120 yards, and ran for scores of 4 and 7 yards.

John McAuliffe and Marc Coy added two rushing touchdowns each for Marist (2-5), which rushed for 293 yards and six TDs on 41 carries.

Duke White had an interception for the RedHawks.

Kenyonte Louis (13-of-22 passing, 218 yards) connected with Myles Green (7 catches, 109 yards) on TD passes of 23 and 8 yards for De La Salle (3-4). Travezz Jones scored on a 25-yard reception while David Coffey (4 catches, 57 yards) tallied on a 17-yard pass. Tristyn Hynes (10 tackles), Green (8 tackles) and Alex Luevanos (8 tackles, blocked extra point) chipped in for the Meteors.

 

Tinley Park 38, Oak Lawn 13
TJ Vrabel scored on a pair of 2-yard runs for host Oak Lawn (1-6) in the South Suburban crossover.

 

Riverside-Brookfield 40, Thornridge 14
Anthony Petrucci returned a punt 60 yards for a touchdown as host Riverside-Brookfield (5-2) prevailed. Luke Kumskis (70-yard TD reception) and Diego Gutierrez (TD run) also contributed for the Bulldogs.

 

Lincoln-Way Central 31, Stagg 14
In New Lenox, visiting Stagg (3-4, 0-3) dropped a Southwest Suburban Red encounter despite the efforts of Lebarion Gilmore (15-yard rushing TD) and Anas Ahmed (12-yard TD catch).

 

Lyons 17, Downers Grove North 7
Danny Carroll (34 carries, 137 yards) scored on a 3-yard run for host Lyons Township (5-2, 4-1) in its West Suburban Conference Silver win. Ryan Jackson passed 35 yards to Travis Stamm for the Lions’ other touchdown while Tommy Newcombe booted a 27-yard field goal.

 

Addison Trail 32, Morton 20
Danny Torres and Julian Richard posted eight tackles apiece while Amaree Summerall added seven for visiting Morton (1-6, 1-3) in a West Suburban Gold matchup. The Mustangs have lost their past four games, during which they have been outscored 121-39.

 

COLLEGE FOOTBALL
Saint Xavier 58, Judson 6
Stuart Ross (20-of-26 passing) threw for 317 yards and four first-half touchdowns for host Saint Xavier (4-2, 2-0) in a Mid-States Football Association Midwest matchup.

Antonio Orozco (39-yard interception return), Kyle Quinn (5 catches, 98 yards, TD), Brandt Hixson (2 catches, 70 yards, TD), Justin Pringle (2 catches, 64 yards, TD), Adam Alcantar (4 catches, 40 yards, TD), Amari Venerable (36 yards rushing, TD) and Dominic D’Ambrosio (rushing TD) all found the end zone for the Cougars.

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