Oak Park and River Forest High School senior running back Antonio Cannon arguably has as much pure talent as any player on the Huskies’ stacked roster. His ability was on full display during a 35-7 win over Lyons Township on Friday at Bennett Field in Western Springs.
Cannon rushed for a career-high 240 yards and scored two touchdowns on 16 carries.
“If Antonio was playing football at a lot of other high schools, he could be a 2,000 yard rusher (per season),” OPRF coach John Hoerster said. “He’s a great running back. He’s also a very unselfish team player and a tremendous leader. I’m happy for any success or recognition that comes Antonio’s way because he deserves it.”
Cannon scored his first TD when he broke free deep in OPRF territory for a 95-yard run, extending the Huskies’ lead to 14-0 with 40 seconds left in the first quarter. He added a 19-yard TD run midway through the third quarter, which built the OPRF advantage to 28-0.
In between Cannon’s scores, OPRF linebacker Evan Bell intercepted a pass by the Lions’ Ben Bryant and returned it for another touchdown.
Senior running back Jammari Watson (7 carries, 84 yards) opened the scoring for OPRF on a 28-yard TD run up the middle at 1:35 of the first quarter. Watson’s run capped off a six-play, 86-yard drive that also included a spectacular 36-yard run by Cannon in which he broke several tackles and leapt over a defender at the end of the play.
In his second varsity start, senior quarterback Keegan Smith (19-for-29, 166 passing yards) scrambled into the end zone from seven yards out with 9:14 left in the fourth quarter to close out the scoring at 35-7.
Senior wide receivers Cole Fields finished with six catches for 79 yards and Breshawn Wilkerson caught two passes for 30 yards for OPRF. Watson chipped in four receptions for 28 yards and Marcus Enriquez had two catches for 13 yards.
LTHS scored its only touchdown on a 1-yard run by Reggie Terrell late in the third quarter.
OPRF dominated the game with 549 yards of total offense, highlighted by 383 rushing yards on 39 carries (9.8 yards per attempt). After a disappointing performance defensively against Glenbard West (34-7 loss in Week 7), the Huskies held LTHS to 137 yards of total offense on 57 plays (2.4 yards per play) and recorded seven tackles for loss, two sacks and an interception.
Bell had a team-high 5 ½ tackles and Connor Nelson had five tackles and a sack. Allen Stallings (3 tackles, sack), Sam Francis (3 tackles), Jahmari Moore (2 tackles, 6 hurries) Keyon Blankenbaker (interception) and Wilkerson (sack) also contributed for the victors.
The Huskies (7-1, 4-1 West Suburban Silver) close out the regular season on Friday, Oct. 23 at home against Hinsdale Central (7-1, 4-1) with second place in the conference at stake. Kickoff is 7:30 p.m.