By Brad Spencer
Downers Grove N. 56
The OPRF football team's season came to an end on Friday night without a win in the West Suburban (Silver) Conference as the Huskies fell 56-20 to Downers Grove North.
The game was a battle of the winless, as both the Trojans and the Huskies had yet to garner a conference victory this season going into the contest. OPRF had a hard time stopping running back Frederick Palma, who rushed for 206 yards and six touchdowns, including four in the first half.
Palma scored in the first quarter when he bolted up the middle for 27 yards. Near the end of the stanza, Downers North went up 14-0 on a two-yard plunge by Ryan Henry.
The second quarter turned out to be a scoring bonanza for both teams, as Palma ran for three more touchdowns (from 3, 54 and 2 yards out).
Sandwiched in-between Palma's feats were two touchdown runs by OPRF running back Tony Stapleton (70, 21), a 25-yard touchdown scamper by OPRF's Francis Bourke off a reverse and a 90-yard kickoff return for a touchdown by Joseph Fox for the Trojans. After all the scoring, OPRF trailed 42-20 at halftime.
The Huskies failed to score in the second half, while Downers North grabbed two touchdowns in the final quarter off runs of 30 and two yards by Palma.
Stapleton finished the night with 153 yards rushing. The senior, who was hampered by a groin injury for much of the season, rushed for 794 total yards this year. He led the team in touchdowns with seven.
OPRF quarterback Jack Phelan, a junior who is expected to return to the position next season, completed 10 of 23 passes for 114 yards against Downers North. For the season, Phelan completed 87 of 168 passes for 973 yards and five touchdowns.
Also expected back next season for the Huskies is junior linebacker Matt McCormack, who led the team in tackles with 98.
The Huskies finish this season with a conference mark of 0-6 and an overall record of 2-7.