By Brad Spencer
The OPRF football team scored eight touchdowns — four in the first quarter — in its West Suburban (Silver) Conference showdown against York at Oak Park Stadium on Friday night, and it took all of them to upend the Dukes for the first time since 1998.
The Huskies' first conference victory of the season took three hours and five minutes as they held off York 55-41 and defeated an opponent with some familiar faces in coaching positions across the field.
Former OPRF head football coach Jim Nudera, who spent 12 seasons at the helm for the Huskies before John Hoerster took over last season, is currently an assistant coach for York, as is former Fenwick head football coach Joe DiCanio. The two stood adorned in green York ballcaps, which likely took some getting used to for the large crowd on hand for Friday night's game. But the fans had plenty to be distracted by from the get-go as the Huskies wasted no time lighting up the scoreboard.
Jakari Cammon scampered 48 yards on the opening drive and set up Jamal Baggett's four-yard touchdown plunge with still 11:29 left in the opening quarter. The Huskies (3-1, 1-1) were off to the races. They scored again just two-and-half minutes later when quarterback Lloyd Yates launched a 62-yard touchdown pass to Tommy Odell.
The two quick touchdowns didn't seem to rattle the Dukes, who responded with 5:46 left in the stanza when wide receiver Austin Wagner leapt to snag a 16-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Andrew Iwaszkiewicz.
In-between York running back Jordan Peacock's 13-yard touchdown run, Yates scored on a quarterback keeper and tossed a 66-yard touchdown pass to Samora Nesbitt to put OPRF up 28-14 going into the second quarter.
"We knew we were going to have to keep fighting and that's what we did," said Nesbitt, who caught three passes for 82 yards and a touchdown in the game.
Personal fouls, unsportsmanlike conduct calls, several common penalties and a couple of costly turnovers by both teams plagued the second quarter.
With 3:41 left in the half, Yates fumbled and York (0-4, 0-1) recovered. Peacock punched it in from five yards out, but Iwaszkiewicz's extra point sailed wide right and the Dukes trailed 28-20 at halftime.
Much of the third quarter was all about Cammon and Peacock. Cammon racked up 128 yards rushing in the quarter and scored three touchdowns (from 7, 3 and 82 yards out). He finished the night with 300 yards rushing on 23 attempts.
Peacock scored on a 12-yard touchdown pass from Iwaszkiewicz and ran back a kick-off 87 yards for a touchdown. York tied the game at 41-41 with 3:38 left in the frame when Iwaszkiewicz tossed a six-yard loft pass to Austin Wagner.
But 33 seconds later Yates dashed down the left side of the field for a 24-yard touchdown run and Cammon struck with his 82-yard TD scamper to close out the third.
Neither team, surprisingly, found the end zone in the final quarter.
"Last week our defense played well and this time it was switched up," said Hoerster after the game. "The offense wouldn't give up and the defense came through to hold them in the last quarter, so overall I'm pleased with the effort. We surely have some things to work on with eliminating turnovers and kick-off coverage, but the guys responded when they had to."
The Huskies next travel to powerhouse Glenbard West on Saturday, Sept. 22.