Goss: Joliet-area backs — in Division I and high school — putting up big numbers
By Dick Goss email@example.com October 9, 2013 10:06PM
Kapri Bibbs | AP photo
Updated: November 11, 2013 12:22PM
Football is different these days.
Gone is the time when a kid rushing for 100 yards in a game was a huge accomplishment. A 1,000-yard season used to place a back among the elite. Not so much anymore.
With the wide-open nature of the game, not only is there more passing, but the running game prospers when defenses must be wary of the pass.
That thought occurred with recent games area backs have enjoyed on the major college level. Kapri Bibbs (Plainfield North, Colorado State), Cameron Stingily (Romeoville, Northern Illinois) and Josh Ferguson (Joliet Catholic, Illinois) all posted career bests.
In Colorado State’s 59-42 victory Sept. 28 over UTEP, Bibbs rushed for 147 yards in 13 carries. That brought his season total for five games (the Rams are 2-3 and were off last week) to 360 yards on 53 carries, a 6.8 average, and six touchdowns. He also has caught four passes for 34 yards.
Stingily celebrated his 22nd birthday Saturday with a career game. The converted linebacker rushed for 266 yards in 37 carries to lead Northern Illinois (5-0) to a 38-24 victory over Kent and was named Mid-American Conference Offensive Player of the Week.
Stingily has surpassed standout quarterback Jordan Lynch for the team rushing lead. He has 576 yards on 98 carries, a 5.9 average, and five touchdowns. Lynch has rushed for 533.
The weekend took a wrong turn Sunday when Stingily was arrested on campus for missing a court appearance for driving without a valid license. He posted $225 bond and was released.
Huskies coach Rod Carey said Stingily will not be punished further, however. He will play in Saturday’s game against Akron.
Illinois (3-2) lost at Nebraska 39-19 on Saturday, but Ferguson was dynamite. He rushed for 114 yards in 19 carries and caught eight passes for 82, accounting for 196 yards of offense.
For the season, he has 310 yards on 49 carries, a 6.3 average, and 20 receptions for 344 yards, a 17.2 average.
Meanwhile, on the high school level in this area, it is mind-boggling how many backs are delivering huge games.
Joliet Catholic’s Mike Ivlow got things rolling with a 310-yard effort in the opener against Providence and has not looked back. He has rushed for 1,451 yards and is averaging 10.0 per carry and 241.8 per game.
Plainfield South’s Josh Harris has 1,009 rushing yards and 13 receptions for 254 yards. That’s 212.5 total yards per game. He has scored 16 touchdowns.
Last week, when Colorado State had a bye, Bibbs returned home and saw his brother, Plainfield North sophomore Marcus Edwards, rush for 406 yards in 50 carries in a 31-19 victory over Romeoville. That’s the new season high in the area. But the way things are going, it will not be a shock if that is surpassed.
Edwards has played approximately seven varsity quarters and rushed for 721 yards.
Lincoln-Way West’s Javier Montalvo has played four games and two plays, missing almost two full games with an injury. Yet he has amassed 931 yards and is averaging 8.7 per carry. In his four full games, he is averaging about 225 yards.
Providence is playing one of the state’s most difficult schedules. Still, Celtics tailback Dominic Lagone has rushed for 855 yards.
Jake Mayon (Plainfield East), Miguel Ford (Romeoville), Jordan Brown (Joliet West), Nate Gunn (Minooka) and Jaden Huff and Mike Valentine (Bolingbrook) are among many other rushers in the area capable of posting the next eye-catching game.
It has been said statistics are for losers. But there is no denying the numbers these backs are putting up are helping their teams push toward the playoffs and the best seed possible.
As the postseason nears and weather worsens, a strong running game can become even more essential. Our guys are ready.