8/24 7:30 H
Week #4 vs.Maywood
Downers Grove South's Tim Ross, picks off a Proviso pass in the endzone with just 7 seconds left in the first half.
Proviso Gives Downers a Gift
Downers Grove (South High School) - The Mustangs came into tonight's game looking like huge favorites, after just making the Big 30, IHSFW.com's state wide ranking, but ended up walking away looking like an average team.
Right off the bat, the Proviso looked like they were in for a long game or short game if the Mustangs hit 40 points and started a running clock.
Downers Grove South's Tyler West (DB 5'11 180 so.) would pick off the first pass on the first play of the game. It would be the first of two picks on the night for West, who also made several tackles throughout the night, seemingly on every part of the field.
But on the defensive side of the ball the Pirates would have a different idea of how they wanted things to work out. Proviso's Raymond Sankey (DE 6'3 225 jr.) would find his way to Downers' QB Drew Burdi (6'2 195 sr.) a few times during the first quarter, twice for sacks and a few more times for QB hurries.
However the Mustangs would find the endzone just seconds short of the 2nd quarter, thanks to a big 4th down catch by wide out Ricki Loisi (WR 6'3 180 sr.), putting the mustangs on the 6 yard line. Loisi, was a key receiver on the night, making big catches throughout the game. Kevin Sheehan (RB/LB 5'11 185 jr.) ran in for a TD on the very next play.
Proviso kept shooting themselves in the foot in the 2nd quarter though, getting penalty after penalty, killing the momentum on any drive they tried to start. This helped the Mustangs take over with good field position and Pat Fleming (RB 5'9 170 jr.) punched in a 2 yard run for another Downers' score, putting the Mustangs up 14-0.
Once again, on the very first play after the kick off, a South defensive player, Steve Mandru (DB 5'8 150 jr.) picked off a Sean Simon (QB 5'11 175 sr.) pass. The Mustangs would capitalize and score another 7, off of a Burdi 6 yard pass to Loisi in the corner of the endzone, putting South up 21-0.
On their next possession Proviso looked like they were starting to gel before the half. Big plays from Simon to his receivers Josh Jenkins (WR/DB 5'9 150 jr.) and the Pirates impression of a redwood tree, Brian Carlwell (TE 6'11 245 sr.) , who was seeing more time as a wide out than a tight end Friday night, put the Pirates within scoring distance.
Simon hit Jenkins, putting the Pirates at the 1 yard line, before just lobbing a pass over the linemen to Carlwell, who just leaped up and snatched it from the sky, somewhere between the goal post and the full moon, for the Pirates first TD of the night.
The Pirates would stop South and get the ball back and drive down field, before a 4th down pass was intercepted by Tim Ross (DB 5'11 165 sr.) in the endzone, giving Downers the ball back with 7 seconds left in the half.
While one might not say that Proviso dominated the 2nd half, it wouldn't be entirely false to say they did have the Mustangs on their heels throughout the last part of the game.
Sheehan would be in on at least 2 sacks in the second half, but that did little to stop the Pirates, as they switched up to a short yardage passing game.
Simon, would take advantage of miss matches between South's shorter DBs and hook up with Carlwell several times. This strategy helped move the chains farther and farther down field till Simon hooked up with Carlwell again for a 2 yard TD reception with 27 seconds left in the third. Putting them with a chance to get within a touchdown of Downers Grove.
But, Proviso's lack of special teams would be one of the ways that they would help the Mustangs stay undefeated. The Pirates, who had failed to convert their first 2 point conversion, would fail again here, making what could have been a 7 point game into a 9 point, or a two possession game. On top of that, the Pirates had three penalties on the ensuing kickoff, placing them 15 yards back when they finally got a kick up the middle returned by the Mustangs.
With the clock ticking down & the ball in the hands of the Mustangs, who were running the ball & the clock, it would be the defense who would have to help Proviso get the ball back. And they did a fine job, stopping Downers Grove from getting a first down & on 4th and long, Joe Washington (DB 5'9 175 sr.) would swatted away a ball and would give possession back to Proviso with just under 11 minutes to go.
Since the offense was having trouble against Proviso in the second half, it would be the defense who had to step things up to stop what could have been one of the biggest upsets so far this year in the state. Tyler West, who started the game off with an interception would take one more with 9:48 left to play. After that it was all Downers Grove, as they controlled the ball almost the remainder of the game.
Downers would have the ball back again, running the clock down for the rest of the game, stopping at the 1 yard line and letting the clock expire with several seconds left to go in the game.
by Vincent Johnson
Help keep your school's fans up to date.
Last Season's Record:
Past Player Watch
-Downers Grove South (official)
8/25 7:30 @
8/26 7:30 H
8/28 8:00 N
8/29 5:00 N
8/30 7:00 @