Its first trip into the postseason in six years looks quite attainable for the OPRF football team, despite the Huskies' 43-6 loss to York on Friday night.
A victory over Glenbard West at home this Saturday (1 p.m.) could assure OPRF (4-4, 2-3) a playoff bid, but the team has endured two wallops in a row. The blowout by York, who led at halftime 43-0, comes on the heals of a 42-0 loss to Downers Grove North the week prior, in a game where the Huskies trailed 35-0 by halftime.
Glenbard West, however, hasn't shown the same dominance toward its opponents this season. The team stands at 3-5 overall and is coming off a 35-7 loss to Hinsdale Central on Saturday. OPRF head coach Jim Nudera said he and his staff aren't about to hype this game up to the players.
"It's just another game for us. The team does what they've been practicing since summer camp, and we should come out with a win," he said. "There's no reason to put any pressure on the guys. They know what they have to do to win the ballgame."
There wasn't a whole lot for the Huskies to be satisfied with in the loss to York (6-2, 4-1). A rusty Rick Foytik returned to start at quarterback for the Huskies. Foytik had broken his collarbone on Sept. 3. The senior struggled in the first half while fleeing York's relentless blitzes. He finished just 2-of-8 passing, with his longest completion a 10-yard strike to Jason Simmons in the second quarter.
The running clock in the second half due to the lopsided score forced Nudera to replace Foytik with Justin Brown, as well as play most of the team's second string. The Huskies ran the ball on every down, but only managed a touchdown late in the third quarter when Jeremy Potts scampered in from four yards out after a 14-play, 66-yard drive.
"Our Concern right now going into the final game of the season is being able to sustain a drive on the offensive end consistently throughout a game and move the chains," said Nudera. "We need to get back to the basics, and work on techniques."
Nudera compared his team to the fledgling White Sox.
"The way I look at is if we focus on the little things first, like executing the fundamentals and techniques, and know our routes and our objectives for each play then we'll succeed. For example, [A.J.] Pierzynski running to first on a swinging strikeout [in Game 2 of the ALCS last week]. That was pure heads up play and great hustle. We need that kind of hustle and execution from our guys."
Justine Peacock and Ryan Sykora led York, scoring three touchdowns apiece. Peacock scored from 1, 2 and 10 yards, while Sykora caught three TD pass for 22, 15, and 45.