By Brad Spencer
Before Friday night's 21-7 win over Downers Grove North, OPRF quarterback John Phelan said he has complete faith that junior backup Dain Mrozek will do a fine job in the starting role for the remainder of the season.
Phelan, who tore a tendon in his toe during the final series against Proviso East in Week 2, was scheduled to have surgery this week.
"I support Dain all the way," said the senior, who has his sights set on a couple of Ivey League colleges, hopefully where he can continue playing football. "He's a great athlete and I truly believe the team will do well with him taking over the leadership role.
"It was a lot of information to learn with a new head coach coming in, so, yeah, it's disappointing that my high school career has to end like this, but the team is in good hands."
Shortly after Phelan's comment, Mrozek helped lead the Huskies to a 21-7 victory over the Trojans, the team's first West Suburban (Silver) Conference win since 2009. The junior finished 3-for-10 passing for 92 yards and a touchdown. He rushed for 79 yards on 12 carries.
Phelan is the second of OPRF's four captains to be out for the season with an injury. Junior running back and defensive back Tommy O'Dell suffered a broken leg during practice before the season began. Senior linebacker Matt McCormack, who leads the team in tackles, is also a captain, as is junior running back Jakari Cammon.
"Dain is driving the bus now," said first-year head coach John Hoerster after Friday night's victory. "It's his team now. He knows what he's good at, and he's been a leader on several football teams throughout his young life, so he'll do fine in this leadership role."
Mrozek, McCormack, and Cammon, who has racked up 486 yards rushing in the first three games, will try to guide the Huskies to their third straight victory when they visit Elmhurst on Friday night to take on York (7:30 p.m.).
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