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Sean Leland, of Sandburg, lines up under center against Andrew at Andrew, Friday, August 24th, 2012 in Tinley Park, IL. | Gary Middendorf~For Sun-Times Media
It’s been said that timing is everything.
In Sandburg’s case, it couldn’t have asked for a better time to play Bolingbrook. The teams meet Friday in the Sun-Times Season Pass Spotlight Game on HighSchoolCube.com.
The Raiders (5-1, 3-1) could be without two impact players Friday when the SouthWest Suburban Blue foes hook up in Bolingbrook. Quarterback Aaron Bailey, an Illinois recruit and All-State selection last season, is doubtful with a sprained MCL (medial collateral ligament), and running back John Howard is sidelined with a leg injury. Both injuries occurred during a 42-19 loss to Lincoln-Way East in Week 6.
Sandburg coach Dave Wierzal, while acknowledging the skill set of Bailey, warned of the potential impact backup Quincy Woods could make.
“Bailey is obviously a superstar and a Division I kid, but the other kid (Woods) is really good,” Wierzal said. “He was thrown into the fire in a difficult situation against Lincoln-Way East. But with a week of practice, I think he’ll be more prepared and dangerous.”
Bailey was injured on the second play of the game, forcing the green but talented Woods into action.
Even without Bailey and Howard, the Raiders still have running back Omar Stover, who has piled up more than 700 yards and 11 touchdowns and is being recruited by Purdue, Missouri and Iowa, among others.
“They have other weapons,” Wierzal said. “We’re focusing on finding a way to contain their offense.”
Sandburg’s defense has been up to the task most of the season. The Eagles have allowed just 70 points, four more than conference leader Lincoln-Way East.
“Our defense is playing where we thought they’d be playing,” Wierzal said. “We’ve improved each week and we hope to keep improving.”
Sandburg (5-1, 3-1) has played musical chairs at quarterback. Junior Sean Leland, more of a drop-back style, likely will start with senior Jim Hill, more of a scrambler, expected to see some time.
The Eagles’ bread-and-butter on offense is running back Lemonte Booker, who has 649 yards rushing and 10 touchdowns.