OPRF football upends Downers North 21-7

Mrozek, Cammon lead way to first conference victory since 2009


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By Brad Spencer

Sports Editor

There's no doubt the announcer for the OPRF football games will soon be tinkering with how to pronounce Dain Mrozek's last name correctly.

The junior quarterback made his varsity starting debut by helping lead the Huskies to a 21-7 victory over Downers Grove North in both teams' West Suburban (Silver) Conference opener at Oak Park Stadium on Friday night.

Mrozek (sounds like Prozac, and, yes, you pronounce the M) got the start after John Phelan suffered a torn ligament in a toe on his right foot in the final series of OPRF's win over Proviso East the week prior.

The 6-foot-2, 165-pound Mrozek, more of a passing quarterback than an option-oriented one, did his share of impressive running. He set up the game's first touchdown with a bruising 7-yard scamper and finished the game with 79 yards on the ground. But his arm came in to play as well. On third and eight from their own 48, Mrozek dumped a pass to running back Jakari Cammon in the middle of the field and the senior sprinted his way to a 52-yard touchdown. Matt McCormack's extra point put the Huskies up 7-0 with 1:53 left in the first half.

"I had jitters to start, but then the adrenaline kicked in and I zoned in on what I had to do," said Mrozek after the victory. "I told myself a couple of times, 'It's just football,' and that seemed to relax me."

In the third, Mrozek marched his offense down to Downers North's 12-yard line. On fourth and 1, he broke through the line but fumbled. OPRF's Kahli Hartzog recovered the ball in the end zone to put the Huskies up 13-0.

After the Huskies committed three penalties, including two questionable personal fouls, Downers North quarterback Riley McGinnis burrowed in for a 5-yard touchdown with 31 seconds left in third.

An interception by Brennan Van Spankeren in the fourth set up Cammon's 1-yard touchdown run with 7:26 left in the game. Mrozek found an open lane off the right tackle and went in untouched for the 2-point conversion.

Cammon, who came out of the gate slipping tackles and running through Downers North's defensive line, racked up 177 yards on 33 carries.

"I was here last year when we didn't win a conference game, so I knew how important this was for us," said Cammon. "With Phelan getting hurt it's a speed bump, but I knew Dain would step up and we'd be alright. This win gives us the confidence we need going forward."

Before Friday night, the last time the OPRF football team secured a win against an opponent in the Silver Division was Oct. 23, 2009. The opponent was Downers Grove North. Last year the Trojans handed OPRF a 56-20 loss in the season finale to keep the Huskies winless in the conference at 0-6.

The Huskies (2-1, 1-0) travel to Elmhurst Friday (Sept. 16) to take on York (7:30 p.m.).

Email: bspencer@oakpark.com Twitter: OakParkSports

Reader Comments

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Posted: September 14th, 2011 10:42 AM

I just thought the 1st poster was getting the cart a little ahead of the horse in his early season assessment. I certainly understand the communities excitement as they are hungry for success I was simply trying to give some outside perspective on the good start. I was targeting my remarks to eager adults who were overly excited about being 2-1. NOT directing my comments to the team who should be excited, optimistic, and have a mind-set that they will finish 8-1. Good luck to OPRF.


Posted: September 14th, 2011 10:36 AM

I am not a Hater nor do I have a grudge, nor am I ignorant, nor do I usually ever post on the internet; the responses to my posting is why. I was simply responding to the very 1st post who said "I can't remember the last time OPRF started 2-1." Well, when was the last time 2 of the 3 first games were against 0-9 & 2-7 teams. That's my point... period! I am newer to the OPRF area; I am not even a native Illinoisan. I hope the team does improve; they likely will. Continued...

Max Sakellaris  

Posted: September 13th, 2011 8:11 AM

Thanks for all of the support. And I can guarantee you our staff will continue to get excited after every win. Its an emotional game and an exciting one.

JGeil from Wednesday Journal  

Posted: September 12th, 2011 10:24 PM

For those interested, here are photos from Friday's game against Downers Grove North: http://www.oakpark.com/Community/Blogs/09-12-2011/Photos:_OPRF_vs._Downers_Grove_North

Jerry Hudson from Phoenix  

Posted: September 12th, 2011 8:30 PM

(cont) Under the previous regime, OPRF won 38% of its games. That's abysmal. And if the new coaching staff showed some excitement and enthusiasm after Friday night's win, good for them. Maybe that's what's been missing. There's a long season ahead, with games against very tough teams. But the Huskies are off to a good start and look like a lead pipe cinch to exceed laast year's win total. So get off their backs. Give 'em their props. And get behind 'em. Go Huskies.

Jerry Hudson from Phoenix  

Posted: September 12th, 2011 8:13 PM

OPRF is trying to move on from its longest period of unsuccessful football ever. And while a two game winning streak doesn't mean the bad days are gone, there are some definite signs of improvement. The first league win in two years. Holding a team that scored 56 points last year to only 7 this year. Those are not imaginary accomplishments. OPRF is one of only four schools in Illinois to win 600 or more football games. And it's long past time for the Huskies to be competitive.

Brutally Honest  

Posted: September 12th, 2011 8:03 PM

" OLINE PARENT" I do not have a son on the team. When I wrote "As a parent of a player" I was referring to the previous post. "Parent of Starting C." Mike simply pointed out the obvious and he is a "hater." I have been watching High School football for more years than I care to share.I simply pointed out that After a win the coaches should act like they have been their before. If that is wrong then I was taught wrong by my coaches. I am a huge Huskie fan and wish them the best.This week York.


Posted: September 12th, 2011 2:28 PM

Easy to post negative comments and hide behind a fake name. Weak. Wouldn't last too long on the football field. Nowhere to run, nowhere to hide. And out there you have to back up your talk.


Posted: September 12th, 2011 2:21 PM

The people who post negative things about the team on this board are those who do not understand the time, energy and commitment these kids, parents and coaches put forth. This isn't ESPN or talk radio. These are high school kids working their butts off. Anyone who looks to take anything away from that either has a personal grudge or just ignorant. Great win by a good team. York Friday Night! No bold predictions or guarantees-other than that the team will leave it all on the field, W or L.


Posted: September 12th, 2011 12:40 PM

Brutally Honest stay home. I feel sorry for you son

Senior proud parent  

Posted: September 12th, 2011 12:37 PM

Am I missing something. Coaches shouldnt get excited over a big win. OP has beaten DGN (who won state less then 6 years ago) 2 times since 1998. How is this not a big win for the program? The coaches are happy for the kids not for themselves. You obviously dont know this staff well.

PJF from Glen Ellyn fromerly from Oak Park  

Posted: September 12th, 2011 10:54 AM

Way to go DMrozek. Nice to see some life pumped into OPRF football. Like KW pointed out. All you haters out there take a hike.


Posted: September 12th, 2011 9:54 AM

All of the HATERS that are going to down our team and say irelavant comments please keep them coming. All me and my teamates are going to do is show it out there on the field regardless of what anyone says. We played a great game and why is anyone still talking about GBN??? that was week one its week 4...please get some business and stop being a hater all your life MIKE.

Brutally Honest  

Posted: September 12th, 2011 12:25 AM

As a parent of a player you are really entering a slippery slope in commenting at all. Against the Mighty Poviso East the O-Line had 6 penalties. Against GBN the offensive scored 2 of their 3 TD's were against the 2nd and 3rd team defense of GBN. The score in that game could have been 60-0 if GBN chose to go that route. "Mike" simply pointed out the obvious. Watching the coaches after that game I was waiting for Terry Bradshaw to come out and present the Lombardi trophy. Come on guys.

Parent of Staring C  

Posted: September 11th, 2011 7:56 PM

Hey Mike, how did Mrozek look good? Oh yeah, he had some protection from his O-Line. And luck of the draw scheduling? So (now #7) Glenbard North was luck of the draw? Ok Mike, dont try and hop on the band wagon.

cindy from oak park  

Posted: September 11th, 2011 6:54 PM

the win was GREAT! the stadium has not been that alive for a long time!! way to go Huskies...so proud of all of you!

Brad Spencer, sports editor of Wednesday Journal  

Posted: September 11th, 2011 11:48 AM

John Register, a legend. Paste this in your browser to find out http://www.oakpark.com/News/Articles/11-06-2007/Athlete,_financier_honored_with_'Tradition_of_Excellence'

John Register from Colorado Springs  

Posted: September 11th, 2011 7:17 AM

Way to Go OPRF! Keep up the great work. John R. Class 83


Posted: September 10th, 2011 9:10 PM

And they played a top 25 team for the second year in a row on the road. That is not luck of the draw. In fact that shouldn't even happen.


Posted: September 10th, 2011 8:29 PM

No it's ok theirs no need to rain on my enthusiasim. They won two games all year last year and finished last in conference, and now they have already won two games out of three, and are tied for first in conference. By the way, the junior class never beat DGN before, and most of the starters on DGN's team last year that beat OP 56-20 were on the team this year. So that's the perspective I believe you should keep.


Posted: September 10th, 2011 4:18 PM

Not to rain on your enthusiasm but the good start has something to do with the luck of the draw in scheduling. Proviso East last year: 0-9 and Downers Grove North: 2-7. So let's keep things in perspective. The Proviso East victory was far from decisive. But on the brighter side the new QB, Mrozek, looked pretty good.


Posted: September 10th, 2011 3:01 AM

Congrats to OPRF for a solid win. This team runs for 200 plus yards every game like they have all year, they will be hard to beat. Props to the o line (Oxnevad,Friesen,Roche,Komar, and Cole.) Its going to be an exciting year, I can't remember the last time OPRF started 2-1. Good article.

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