||More Sports||Sign up||School Finder|
Oak Park-River Forest will not have to look very far for film of its first-round opponent in the IHSA Class 8A state playoffs.
The Huskies travel to Hinsdale Central on Friday to take on a West Suburban Silver foe they dueled with on October 5, when Oak Park pulled off a thrilling 42-41 overtime victory.
“We know each other well,” Huskies’ coach John Hoerster said. “We’re not going to have to learn a whole new system. In the playoffs you usually never know what you’re going to get, but there’s not a whole lot of mystery with Hinsdale Central.”
The Week 7 win over the Red Devils showed just how much confidence Hoerster has in his offense. Hinsdale Central (7-2, 4-2) scored first in overtime and converted the extra-point kick. When the Huskies (6-3, 3-3) matched the score, Hoerster decided to go for two and star running back Jakari Cammon plunged into the end zone to give Oak Park the win.
“There were a lot of different reasons (we went for it),” Hoerster said. “They’re a really strong team offensively and when you put them in a small space at the 10-yard line, they’re tough to stop. We figured we had three yards to go to win. And our extra points were off that day. Kicking wasn’t a guarantee.”
If the Huskies want to have success in the playoffs they’ll need to work on limiting turnovers. Fumbles and interceptions proved costly in its season finale as Oak Park turned the ball over eight times in a 26-23 loss to Proviso West on Friday night.
“It’s next to impossible to win when you turn the ball over that many times,” Hoerster said. “But we never quit. We put our defense in a bind and they played exceptionally well. It would have been great to go into the playoffs with momentum but I think our kids have short memories and will be able to focus on Hinsdale Central.”
The Red Devils are led by senior quarterback Brian Owens, who threw for 222 yards in Hinsdale Central’s 20-17 win over York on Friday.
For the Huskies, there is no doubt Cammon is their biggest weapon. The 5-8 senior had a pair of one-yard touchdown runs and carried the ball 26 times for 132 yards against Proviso West. He knows the Red Devils will be gunning for him in the playoffs.
“I think they’re going to really watch the film from the Glenbard West (49-0 loss on Sept. 22) and Proviso West games and try to pick up some tips on how to slow us down,” Cammon said. “And they’ll see the film from what they did wrong last time.
“I plan on having one of my best games this year. I’m very excited. During practice I just want to make sure I’m getting a good look from the scout team, watch films and keep my body healthy.”