Poor start dooms Joliet West
By Dick Goss firstname.lastname@example.org October 13, 2012 6:36PM
Joliet West’s wide receiver Ron Banner (11) comes up short on a pass play against Homewood- Flossmoor at Joliet West, Saturday October, 12, 2012. | Ray Luna ~ For Sun-Times Media
of the game
H-F junior quarterback Ronald Johnson was 7-for-7 for 119 yards and three touchdowns, all in the first half and all in steady rain.
Updated: November 15, 2012 6:34AM
This was not the way Saturday was supposed to go.
On Senior Day, Joliet West had planned to play its best football against Homewood-Flossmoor, admittedly a quality SouthWest Suburban Blue visitor. The Tigers needed a victory to keep their playoff hopes alive, so a sense of urgency was on their side.
But from the time H-F marched 56 yards in five plays to score after receiving the opening kickoff, things were on a slippery slope for the Tigers. The Vikings scored five first-quarter touchdowns for a 35-0 lead and made it 49-0 at halftime en route to a 49-8 victory.
Playoff-bound H-F (6-2, 4-2), ignoring the rain, accumulated 370 yards of offense and 15 first downs.
“We come into every game knowing that we have to play our best football, and when we don’t, we saw today what could happen,” West coach Jason Aubry said. “We struggled right away.”
The Tigers (3-5, 2-4) know their season will end next weekend. Despite Saturday’s failure, Aubry cited the bright side.
“I hope people see we are taking steps forward,” he said. “That’s not what I wanted to be saying, I wanted to be talking about a victory. But the good thing is we have guys up front, in the line, who are doing good things. We’re not where we want to be, but that’s an area of emphasis right now.”
West got on the board with a safety in the third quarter when an H-F snap rolled out of the end zone.
West later scored a touchdown on Korey Rogers’ 14-yard sweep. Rogers rushed for 69 yards in 14 carries.
Quarterback Ashton McCullough had a difficult day passing, completing 7-of-24 for 33 yards and an interception. The H-F passing attack, led by junior Ronald Johnson, was 9-of-9 for 187 yards and four touchdowns in the first half.
“Losing (junior quarterback) Anthony DiNardo (to injury) when we did in the Sandburg game really hurt,” Aubry said. “The way we were able to do things with Ashton and Anthony, it was a great mix. Maybe if we have them both, the season is different.”
Whether Saturday could have been different is another matter. H-F was loaded for bear from the get-go.
“We respect Joliet West, but to be honest we were looking to get a running clock early,” Vikings coach Craig Buzea said. “This is the third week in a row we’ve had it.”