Encore in Minooka vs. Plainfield East would be special
By Dick Goss firstname.lastname@example.org September 20, 2012 8:46PM
Updated: October 22, 2012 6:12AM
Special teams never were more special than in last year’s Plainfield East at Minooka match-up.
East returned not one, not two, but three kickoffs for touchdowns, the ultimate rare feat.
The kickoff returns kept the Bengals close most of the way, though Minooka pulled away in the fourth quarter to win 54-27 behind 310 rushing yards and five touchdowns from Kalvin Hill.
Things will be different at 7 p.m. Friday, guaranteed, when the Southwest Prairie adversaries battle at East in the Season Pass Spotlight Game for the Herald-News. For starters, the Bengals (1-3, 1-1) may not return any kicks for touchdowns.
“We really value special teams, but a lot of teams have gotten better in that department,” coach Mike Romeli said. “Three kickoff returns like last year, that’s almost impossible.”
Hill graduated, and the 2012 Minooka offense did not get rolling until last week, when the Indians (1-3, 1-1) returned to their staple, the double wing, and whipped previously unbeaten Plainfield Central 45-14.
“The head coach was getting in the way,” first-year coach Paul Forsythe said of Minooka getting away from the double wing early on.
“It looked like they ran out of the double wing without a hitch,” Romeli said. “I was surprised how well Oswego handled them (42-0 two weeks ago); their cupboard definitely is not bare.”
Max Brozovich, Nate Gunn and Cory Bee all ran well against Central and will be the challenge for an East defense, led by standout senior linebacker Brennen Rompa, that has been solid.
Romeli said Rompa is averaging more than 11 tackles per game and linebacker Alex Bonner is chipping in with 71/2.
Rompa and running back Aris Irizarry each had one of the three kickoff returns for touchdowns in last year’s game. Cullen Rompa (58 carries, 266 yards) and Irizarry (33, 172) are two of the Bengals’ top rushers, and quarterback Jacob Kotopka can run and throw.