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Reavis started the season last week with its first victory since 2010, while a three-year losing streak reached 19 games for Joliet Central.
Signs of a resurgence continued Friday for Reavis, a state power in the early 1980s, when the Rams held on for a 7-6 victory over visiting Joliet Central.
“We fought harder than any team I’ve ever coached, and that says a lot,’’ Reavis coach Tim Zasada said amid the postgame celebration. “We were outmanned. We’ve got seven guys that go both ways. I couldn’t be prouder of this team.’’
The Steelmen came within two points of ending the long skid, nearly coming away with its first football victory since Joliet returned to separate programs at Central and West in 2010.
Central quarterback Carlos Curry threw a 20-yard TD pass to Luis Zepeda in the third quarter to make it 7-6. The Steelmen went for the 2-point conversion and Reavis’ Bernard Sullivan and Anthony Parente kept Curry out of the end zone.
Reavis led 7-0 at halftime on a 1-yard run by Jose Romero after penalties nullified Joliet Central touchdowns in the first and second quarters. Reavis’ Kenny Castillio had five catches for 76 yards in the first half.
An 80-yard run by Joliet Central’s Sylvester Bellamy and a 61-yard pass from Curry to Corvasie Weaver were called back because of block in the back and false start penalties, respectively.
Next for Reavis is its South Suburban Red opener Friday against Argo.