Football: Experience bolsters Plainfield Central
By Dick Goss firstname.lastname@example.org August 19, 2012 11:48PM
Plainfield Central's Jordan Ellingwood (33). | File photo
2011 record: 5-4 (Class 7A)
2011 Southwest Prairie record: 3-4
2012 football enrollment: 2,165 (Class 7A)
Head coach: John Jackson (87-85 in 18 years overall; 77-66 in 15 years at Plainfield Central)
Offensive coordinator: Greg Jensik
Defensive coordinator: Ray Shields
Base offense: Spread; Double-wing
Base defense: 3-4/5-2
(Opponent football enrollment in parentheses)
DATE OPPONENT TIME
Aug. 25 at Amundsen (1,540) 3 p.m.
Aug. 31 St. Charles North (2,048) 7 p.m.
Sept. 7 Romeoville (1,790) 7 p.m.
Sept. 14 at Minooka (2,557) 7 p.m.
Sept. 21 Plainfield North (1,954) 7 p.m.
Sept. 28 at Oswego East (2,001) 7 p.m.
Oct. 6 Plainfield South (2,439) 1 p.m.
Oct. 12 at Plainfield East (1,860) 7 p.m.
Oct. 19 at Oswego (2,371) 7 p.m.
2011 RESULTS (FINAL RECORD 5-4)
(Opponent final record in parentheses)
DATE OPPONENT RESULT
Aug. 26 Amundsen (2-7) W 41-15
Sept. 2 at St. Charles North (2-7) W 26-21
Sept. 9 Minooka (6-4) L 52-20
Sept. 16 at Plainfield North (4-5) L 35-28
Sept. 23 vs. Oswego East (2-7) W 14-13
Sept. 30 at Plainfield South (5-5) W 26-19
Oct. 8 Plainfield East (3-6) W 33-21
Oct. 14 vs. Oswego (8-3) L 21-6
Oct. 21 at Romeoville (3-6) L 49-46
Best finishes: Quarterfinalist in 1981 and 2000.
Did you know?: Plainfield Central coach John Jackson has reunited with one of his old buddies, new offensive coordinator Greg Jensik. “He’s one of my Naperville North mafia,” Jackson said.
Updated: September 21, 2012 6:02AM
Plainfield Central finished 5-4 and missed the 2011 playoffs thanks to a 49-46 loss in Week 9 to Romeoville.
Spartans junior wide receiver Duvaun Goodlow caught seven passes for 97 yards and two touchdowns, including the winning TD in the final minute.
Goodlow will not be a problem for the Wildcats this season, however. In fact, he will be wearing their uniform. He moved and transferred “right after Christmas,” Wildcats coach John Jackson said. “So we’ve had him most of the offseason.”
Goodlow is joining a promising offense. Quarterback Brian Blair steps into the starting role after backing up Tim Blake a year ago. Fullback Tyler Erdman and wingbacks Jordan Ellingwood and Gino Giarratano all are returning starters and in their third varsity season.
“Giarratano primarily is a defensive player but he’s also an outstanding running back and Ellingwood was our leading rusher last year,” Jackson said. “Both were all-conference and are getting college interest.”
A.J. Apiquian, Dom Sterr and Eric Rech provide reserve strength in the backfield.
Blair does not have Blake’s arm strength, but Jackson said he “reads defenses as well or better. He throws pretty well and runs well. He is acting like a veteran in camp.”
His primary receivers, in addition to Goodlow, include Derek Bernasik and Dane Moscatelli.
So the firepower is there. “If we get the line to come together, we could be good offensively,” Jackson said.
Joe Fisher is back at one tackle, and center Kyle Mitchell is a two-year letterman. Nick Gregorash, Nick Yusko, Alex Julian, Matt Houghton and Greg Cybulski are others in the mix up front. Houghton is a sophomore and Cybulski is 6-foot-6, 280.
The weightiest of the Wildcats, though, is 6-2, 320-pound defensive nose tackle Bryce Douglas, who has committed to Illinois. He’s the son of former Illini basketball standout Bruce Douglas.
“Bryce has matured quite a bit,” Jackson said. “He has taken a leadership position and is the strongest player I have ever coached. He’s a light 320, quick on his feet. He’s a handful in the middle.”
Erdman and Ellingwood, along with Brian Hernandez and Tyler Shank, figure to flank Douglas along the defensive front, with Pete Rokush and Marc Almaguer also seeing time.
Apiquian will join Matt Wurster at linebacker. Giarratano will play an outside linebacker along with Shane Blidy, with No. 2 quarterback Mike Smiles in reserve.
“We want to get Gino on the field all the time,” Jackson said. “We want our best people on the field.
“We haven’t abandoned platooning, but we’ve had to modify it. We have 55 kids, which is pretty good numbers. On the lines, we’ll pretty much platoon.”
Mike Leffler played cornerback last year but is shifting to free safety.
“His dad is a coach on the staff at Lemont — you have to like that kind of kid,” Jackson said.
Bernasik will man one corner, Roger Thigpen the other. Ryan Rodriguez provides depth. Akwasi Aikins pencils in at safety.