Football: Joliet West puts up nifty fifty vs. Joliet Central
By Dick Goss email@example.com October 19, 2013 8:48PM
Members of the Joliet West poms squad are shown performing at halftime of the Tigers' football game against Joliet Central on Saturday, October 19, 2013. | Jon Cunningham/For Sun-Times Media
Updated: October 21, 2013 9:09AM
Joliet West needed something good to happen.
After seeing their playoff hopes vanish in a 61-35 loss at Stagg a week earlier, the Tigers entered Saturday’s home battle with SouthWest Suburban Blue crosstown rival Joliet Central disappointed, to say the least.
They responded, beating the winless Steelmen 50-0.
Tailback Jordan Brown felt better, rushing for 152 yards and three touchdowns. So did Anthony DiNardo, who completed 12-of-15 passes for 152 yards and two touchdowns. The same went for Niko Messino, who caught three passes for 56 and rushed three times for 28, including a 19-yard TD. And Christian Griswald, who caught two short scoring passes.
“It’s nice to beat a rivalry team and get our confidence back up,” Brown said.
“It was good for us to win a game like this,” Messino said. “We wanted to come out and put points on the board early, and we did.”
But nobody left Klootwyk Field wearing a bigger smile than junior Paul Blackmon, a special teams player and reserve defensive lineman. He scored the final touchdown late in the third quarter when he hustled after an errant Central snap, scooped it up at the 9-yard line and took it, along with a tackler, into the end zone.
“It was a team effort the whole game, and I finally did something big, for once in my career,” said Blackmon, who was mobbed by his teammates after his once-in-a-lifetime moment. “I couldn’t just fall on the ball, I had to do a lot more than that. There was a lot going on. It was a great opportunity for me.”
Blackmon’s play added an exclamation point for a defense seeking redemption for what happened at Stagg. West (3-5, 1-5) limited Central (0-8, 0-6) to 12 net yards even though the Steelmen’s Sylvester Bellamy, who split time between quarterback and tailback, rushed for 57 yards in 17 carries.
“We needed a shutout. It was our first one,” West coach Jason Aubry said. “Our defense stepped up and played well.”
Youthful Central has been shut out six times.
“We hope we’re heading in the right direction,” Steelmen coach Brett Boyter said. “We have a lot of young guys playing. Games like this can leave a bitter taste in their mouths. Hopefully it sticks with them.
“It may not look like it, but we have a lot to build off with some of the guys we are playing.”
Hidden in the one-sided score was the excellent game and effort of Central senior linebacker Deontay Brown.
“Diontay’s an excellent player,” Boyter said. “He’s still battling a hamstring problem from the Bolingbrook game, but he gave it all he had. He has a bright future.”