Goss: Old-school Minooka football is back
September 15, 2012 1:58AM
Minooka's Mitch Vogrin (29) celebrates stopping a drive by Plainfield Central's Dane Moscatelli (8) during their football game in Minooka Friday, September 14, 2012. | Brett Roseman~Sun-Times Media
Updated: October 17, 2012 6:33AM
Max Brozovich couldn’t help flash his wide grin.
“This is old-school Minooka football,” the senior wide receiver turned wingback said Friday night after the previously winless Indians walloped previously unbeaten Southwest Prairie foe Plainfield Central 45-14.
Brozovich was referring to the return to the double-wing offense that had served the Indians well in previous years.
Paul Forsythe, previously a Minooka assistant, took over as the head coach this season. He had a ready explanation for what went wrong the first three weeks, when the Indians fell to Morris, Providence and Oswego.
“The head coach was getting in the way,” he said. “Now we’re back in position where we can win. Coach Y (offensive coordinator Frank Yudzentis) did a nice job orchestrating all that. We got out of the I and went back to a three-man backfield.”
The three enjoyed a banner night in front of the home crowd as Brozovich finished with 123 rushing yards, sophomore Nate Gunn with 114 and senior Cory Bee with 78. Junior quarterback Shane Briscoe did a nice job filling in for injured senior starter Joe Carnagio, tossing a 44-yard touchdown pass to Luke Stovall and a key 17-yarder to Brozovich on a third-and-long to help the Indians blow it open in the second quarter.
The offensive line — Blake King, Paul Stawarz, John Klann, Jake Brod and Max Turek — appeared comfortable with their assignments in the double wing. It all came together.
“They have moved me around a little bit,” Brozovich said. “It felt really good to get back to being a running back. I love the backfield. I hadn’t been there since freshman year. They made me a wide receiver as a sophomore and I guess I did pretty well there, so they left me there.”
Brozovich’s reaction when he heard the coaching staff decided to return to old-school Minooka football?
“I was very, very excited,” he said.
Brozovich’s contributions did not end on plays from the double wing. He also is the upback in punt formation.
He earlier had a 27-yard run to the Central 1 to set up the first touchdown, and Jacob Stytz made it a 10-0 game with a 33-yard field goal. The Wildcats had the momentum, but just in case they had not yet regained the swagger that led to a six-game winning streak in the conference a year ago, Brozovich made sure.
On fourth-and-8 from the Minooka 36 on the final play of the first quarter, he took the snap from punt formation and swung around the right side for 20 yards and a first down at the Wildcats’ 44. Sure enough, on the first play of the second quarter, Briscoe seized the moment, throwing a strike long over the middle to Stovall for a 17-0 lead.
Now there was that swagger.
With Minooka’s defense shutting down Central, the lead swelled to 31-0 at halftime and 38-0 midway through the third quarter.
There may not be enough game balls to go around, but the entire Minooka defense also deserved one.
Senior cornerback Corbett Oughton grabbed headlines with three interceptions and a couple of breakups, helping limit Central’s Brian Blair to 6-of-23 passing. The Wildcats converted his first interception into their first touchdown.
On Central’s next play from scrimmage, linebacker Mitch Vogrin stole the ball from the ball carrier and returned it nine yards to the Central 29. That led to Stytz’s field goal.
Oughton returned his second pick 36 yards for a touchdown to make it 38-0 in the third quarter. His third interception in the fourth quarter dashed Central’s comeback hopes.
“The first one was overthrown and I was in the right spot,” Oughton said. “The second one I got a chance to run with.”
Ditto for the third, but he was stumbling over his feet when he went down 12 yards later at the Minooka 16. And that was with green grass ahead.
“I undercut the route and had room to run,” he said. “But I think my feet were running faster than my body.”
Oughton and Vogrin enjoyed big games, and the same could be said of the entire defensive unit: linemen Jake Lang, Mark Geers, Dane Colvin, Erik Velazquez and Dionte Reed; linebackers Eric Pashnick, Mitch McCoy and Jake Cosgrove; cornerback Chris Hise; and safety Matt Figura.
“We came out and set the tempo right away, which is something we lacked the last couple of games,” Oughton said. “The offense scored points and the defense was sticking them. We couldn’t do any better than that.”
Dare we say, old-school Minooka football is back, just in time for a playoff push.
“It’s pretty much make or break from here on,” Brozovich said. “It’s hard to get in the playoffs if you go 5-4. We almost have to get six wins.”