By Marty Farmer
Life is pretty good these days for Oak Park and River Forest H.S. wide receiver/linebacker Simmie Cobbs. The 6-foot-4, 190-pound senior caught touchdown passes of 67 and 48 yards from quarterback Lloyd Yates during the Huskies' 28-10 win over visiting Hinsdale Central on Friday night. Oh by the way, Cobbs also committed to play college football for Purdue earlier this week. It's been an unforgettable week for Cobbs, who a little over a month ago, was waiting for approval from the IHSA to play football at OPRF this season after sitting out the first two games of the season (Cobbs transferred to OPRF from Montini this year).
Per usual, the Huskies' most recent win included many stellar performances. In addition to his two touchdown strikes to Cobbs, Yates also threw a 73-yard touchdown pass to Jeremy Moore with :53 remaining before halftime to extend the OPRF lead to 21-3. Leading 21-10 in the fourth quarter, Yates scored the game's final touchdown on a four-yard scamper with 2:47 left in the game. He finished 9-for-15 for a career-high 311 yards passing and three touchdowns plus one scoring run. Cobbs (two catches, 115 yards) and Moore (three catches, 110 yards) punished the Hinsdale Central secondary with big plays. Senior running back Mike Hayden provided some offensive balance with 72 yards rushing on six carries.
The Huskies amassed 459 yards of total offense on just 43 plays, while the Red Devils had 235 yards off 66 plays. Ben Stefani rushed for 171 yards on 46 carries. He scored the Red Devils' lone touchdown on a four-yard run in the fouth quarter. The Red Devils, who have been ravaged by injuries this season, fell to 4-4 overall and 2-3 in the West Suburban Silver.
Defensively, Justin Starks tallied a team-high 12 tackles for OPRF and steady Sam Cottingham-Beard racked up nine tackles. Xavier Rowe, Allen Stallings and Matt Filek recorded eight tackles apiece. Stallings, in the midst of a superb sophomore campaign, also had 1 1/2 sacks as did senior defensive lineman Andre Lee, who also chipped in five tackles.
OPRF (7-1, 5-1 West Suburban Silver) closes out the regular season next Friday (Oct. 25) at Morton in a West Suburban Conference crossover. With a win over the Mustangs next week, the Huskies are a lock to land a very high seed in the upcoming Class 8A playoffs. Last year, OPRF advanced to the second round of the postseason.
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