OAK PARK AND RIVER FOREST FOOTBALL WEEK 3 PREVIEW

Matchup: Proviso West (1-1) at OPRF (2-0)

Where: at OPRF Stadium

When: 6:30 p.m. kickoff (*Senior Night activities begin at 5:45 p.m.)

Last year’s score: OPRF 29, Proviso West 6

Preview: After a pair of impressive non-conference road victories, OPRF returns home for its West Suburban Conference Silver Division opener against Proviso West. The Huskies’ 29-6 win at Proviso West last season snapped a three-game losing streak against the Panthers. Traditionally, this matchup offers one of the hardest-hitting games in the conference schedule. While the Huskies possess better overall talent and depth, the Panthers will be looking for an early season conference upset. It’s a good but manageable test for OPRF to open conference play.

OPRF scouting report: The Huskies look to remain on track offensively in their home opener. While quarterback Lloyd Yates and running back Antonio Cannon have racked up the most impressive stats, the offense is loaded with playmakers. Look for players like Ke’Juan Ratcliff, Cole Fields, Breshawn Wilkerson, De’Viaughn Benion Jamarri Watson and Kamal Bey to add further highlights over the upcoming weeks.

While Yates’ stellar play was expected, Cannon is a rapidly emerging star. In his first season as the Huskies’ feature running back, the junior has rushed 30 times for 336 yards and four touchdowns in two games. Reminiscent of Jamal Baggett in 2013, if Cannon can get through the line of scrimmage, he’s a legitimate threat to score. Senior Dallis Flowers is another threat on return kicks the Panthers will have to contain.

On defense, the Huskies will look to stay the course as well. Shutting down Proviso West running back Chance Haney will be huge on Friday. Look for the Huskies to load the box and make the Panthers one-dimensional.

Proviso West scouting report: The Panthers are looking to bounce back from a disappointing 2-7 campaign in 2013. They opened this season with a 13-7 win over Evanston before losing a 28-27 overtime thriller to Downers Grove South last week. The Mustangs scored in the closing seconds of regulation to force overtime and claim an improbable comeback win over the Panthers.

Returning starting quarterback Dennis Bryant Jr. and senior running back Chance Haney (rushed 22 times for 125 yards against Evanston) are the top offensive threats, while senior linebacker Tyrone Neal is a physical run-stopper and seniors Lewis Brown and Jamonte Robinson anchor the secondary.

Head coach Famous Hulbert will have his team ready to play.

Proviso West fun fact: In March 1960, the U.S. Badminton Open, which included 300 players from the United States, Indonesia, India, Denmark, among others, was hosted by Proviso West.

Outlook: While OPRF fans have traveled very well to Frankfort and Northlake over the first two weeks of the season, look for the fans’ support at a packed home stadium on Senior Night to inspire the Huskies to a higher level. The emotion of the night coupled with the Huskies’ superior talent spells trouble for Proviso West. While the Panthers are always up for a good battle between the lines, OPRF should be up for the challenge.

Prediction: OPRF 34, Proviso West 14

Contact:

Email: marty@oakpark.com Twitter: @OakParkSports

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Marty Farmer

The Illinois Press Association recently honored Marty with the 1st & 2nd Place Awards for Best Sports Feature for his article He's in an Oak Park state of mind: Former OPRF star Iman Shumpert returns...

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