Plainfield Central defense recovers, leads win over Plainfield South
By Dick Goss email@example.com October 6, 2012 6:34PM
Plainfield Central back Jordan Ellingwood runs through the Plainfield South line. | John Patsch~For Sun-Times Media
Player of The game
Plainfield Central senior wingback/linebacker Gino Giarratano ran 68 yards for a touchdown run on the first play from scrimmage, deflected three passes and made three tackles for loss.
Updated: November 8, 2012 11:51AM
Allowing 40 points in last week’s victory over Oswego East did not sit well with the Plainfield Central defense.
“They were slapped in the face,” Wildcats coach John Jackson said. “They came back and showed a lot of pride today.”
What Central did Saturday was limit Southwest Prairie rival Plainfield South to 34 net rushing yards and 165 total, create three turnovers and deny the Cougars entry to the end zone when they were on the doorstep during a much-needed 21-6 Homecoming victory.
The Wildcats (5-2, 3-2) moved to within one victory of a guaranteed playoff berth and put No. 10 South (3-4, 2-3) behind the playoff 8-ball.
“We had a terrible defensive game last week,” Central senior linebacker/wingback Gino Giarratano said. “The defense was outstanding today. We went back to our roots.”
Giarratano jump-started the Wildcats with a 68-yard touchdown run on the first play from scrimmage. Defensively, he deflected three passes, had three tackles for loss and stopped South quarterback Ricky Luna at the 1 on a three-yard scramble. The Cougars turned the ball over on downs on that possession.
“We played as a team,” Giarratano said. “If that (TD) run gave us momentum, well, momentum kills. Our defense needed that boost from the offense.”
South got to within 7-6 on a 22-yard pass from Luna to Kody Voda on a fourth-and-goal late in the first half. But Derek Bernasik, who joined nose tackle Bryce Douglas with fourth-quarter interceptions, blocked the extra point.
“The block gave us that little extra,” Jackson said.
Central quarterback Mike Smiles engineered a 65-yard scoring drive just before the half to make it 14-6. Smiles’ 10-yard pass to Brian Blair climaxed the drive, and he hit Duvane Goodlow with a 14-yard scoring strike in the third quarter to close the scoring.
“We were inconsistent,” South coach Ken Bublitz said. “We missed opportunities early and didn’t execute.”