||More Sports||Sign up||School Finder|
Aurora, 10/05/12--Guerin Prep's Connor Campbell tries to hang onto Aurora Central's Julian Rios. Aurora Central Catholic High School hosted Guerin Prep High School in football Friday night. | Jon Langham~for Sun-Times Media
Woulda, coulda, shoulda.
A few weeks ago, Aurora Central’s Julian Rios might have used the above line to describe his 2012 season. Then fate — or was it the football gods simply smiling on him? — intervened, and the junior running back got a second chance. He’s made the most of it to help his team.
“Julian was gonna start at the 3 (running back) spot in our lineup and Steve Amoni was gonna be the 4 (fullback),” ACC coach Brian Casey said of his preseason plans. “Steve Belovich wasn’t a starter. But then (Rios) suffered a high ankle sprain in preseason so we moved Amoni to the 3 and Belovich to the 4.”
The Chargers’ offense got off to a strong 4-1 start with Amoni getting a heavy load of carries and Belovich contributing some yards, but also delivering important work as a lead blocker for Amoni.
Then, in Week 6 at home against Walther Lutheran, Amoni went down with an ankle injury early in the game.
“Next man in,” football coaches like to say. That man was Rios, whose ankle was again healthy.
“My first thought was, ‘Oh, no, what happened?’” Casey said. “But Julian came in and did a great job. They say it takes six weeks to completely recover from one of those (high ankle sprains).”
Rios ran for 114 yards against Walther Lutheran and then followed it up with 104 yards and three TDs on just nine carries in the first half in last week’s 55-0 romp over Guerin when Amoni was unable to go.
“Amoni did not play,” said Casey, who refused to term the injury a sprain. “He was going to play but after the pregame (warmup), he wasn’t where he needed to be.”
Casey hasn’t been surprised Rios stepped up.
“Quite honestly, to see how hard that kid works in practice and the weight room, you just know he’s going to be the type of person who is gonna be a success as a parent, in work, anything he chooses to do,” Casey said.
Isn’t he special?
The struggles of Plainfield North punter Brock Thomas — boots of 14, 20 and just 10 net yards among his six kicks — weren’t the only factor that helped Oswego dominate special teams in its 35-7 win over the Tigers.
Credit is also due to 5-foot-9, 185-pound junior running back Tyler Walsh, who backs up Mickeel Stewart.
Midway through the third quarter, the Panthers faced fourth-and-7 at the North 44-yard line and sent in punter Alex Milne. Walsh lines up as one of Milne’s protectors between the punter and the line. He took a direct snap and ran 19 yards to the 25 to continue the drive.
When North’s next drive stalled, Walsh returned a punt 19 yards to give his team possession at the Tiger 38, leading to a short drive for the final Panther score.
How good was the Oswego defense against the Tigers’ power run game? The Panthers, led by the defensive line of Justin Best, Christian Ornelas, Jordan Schneeberger and Griffin Lawrence, held Tiger RB Jay Roberts to 1.57 yards per carry (14 carries, 22 yards).
“They opened so many more opportunities for us,” said linebacker Max Larsen.
Roberts topped 1,000 yards rushing for the season in the game, but probably not like he thought he would. The Tiger back came in averaging 7.9 yards per carry and had 979 yards. He’s now at 1,002.
Yorkville running back Anton Jones, who has more than 700 yards rushing this season, was limited in Friday’s loss to Kaneland.
“Anton Jones, ‘Forrest’ we call him, was dinged up the week before,” Yorkville coach Karl Hoinkes told WSPY’s Jim Teckenbrock on his Saturday Morning Sports Show.
“He practiced on Wednesday and got in the game. We gave him the start but he wasn’t his usual self. Chris Humphrey came in and did a respectable job.”
We assume that nickname is a reference to Tom Hanks’ role in the movie “Forrest Gump.” (“Run, Forrest, run!”).
Hoinkes was impressed by the undefeated Knights.
“It’s amazing to me they have so many big kids and not just big, but strong kids,” he said. “They’re selling the good stuff and the kids are buying in over there. They’re pretty doggone good.”
After his team’s 35-31 loss to Herscher cost them sole possession of the Interstate Eight Large title, Sandwich coach Dusty Behringer told WSPY, “Did the better team win last night? I don’t think so, but the team that played better did.”