By Brad Spencer
On a steamy September eve in Oak Park, the OPRF football team secured its first victory – 36-20 against Proviso East – in nearly a year.
The Huskies (1-1), who hadn't celebrated a victory since a 46-0 mauling of Morton on Oct. 9, 2010, opened up the scoring on Friday night at Oak Park Stadium when running back Jakari Cammon slipped up the middle for a 6-yard touchdown with 6:45 left in the first quarter. Cammon, who finished with 173 yards on the ground on just 25 carries, also capped off the scoring for the game. The junior took the left flat like he owned it for 13 yards with 2:23 left in the game to put the Pirates out of reach.
Proviso East (0-2) evened things in the first with a 49-yard touchdown run by Ryan Jones (91 yards rushing, 25 carries). But that's as close as the Pirates would get as OPRF quarterback John Phelan (7-of-16 passing, 73 yards, 2 TDs) tossed one touchdown pass in the closing minutes of the first and then another in the opening minutes of the second, the latter finding Ryan Nelson for a 21-yard end zone celebration.
Proviso East managed one more TD before the half, but OPRF's defense forced a safety with 2:37 left in the second to take a 23-14 lead at the break.
The victory marked new head coach John Hoerster's first of the season. Hoerster took over for Jim Nudera, who skippered the program for 12 years.
The Huskies open West Suburban (Silver) Conference play at home against Downers Grove North on Friday (7:30 p.m.). OPRF fell to the Trojans 56-20 in last year's season finale.