The defining moments of the Oak Park and River Forest High School football team’s season most likely will occur during West Suburban Conference Silver Division play, particularly with a regular season-ending stretch run of games against Glenbard West, Lyons Township and Hinsdale Central.
While defending state champion Glenbard West is the favorite, any of the four teams could conceivably win the conference championship.
In the meantime, OPRF (2-0) took care of business within the West Suburban Conference in a different way. The Huskies hit the road Friday night and defeated Addison Trail 35-14 in a convincing conference crossover victory.
After missing the second half of last season with an injury, OPRF senior quarterback Jeremy Hunt turned in his second straight solid performance this fall. He completed 9 of 15 passes for over 100 yards and three touchdowns. Hunt also rushed four times for 30 yards. Most importantly, the 6-foot-3, 220-pound signal caller is feeling comfortable again on the gridiron.
“I felt better on the field this week for sure,” Hunt said. “I had a lot more nerves last week (21-14 win against Simeon).
“We worked a lot on our passing and catching. I felt like that really helped us out coming into the game today.”
In the closing seconds of the first quarter, Hunt threw a 13-yard touchdown pass to sophomore wide receiver Craig Shelton. Hunt then connected with Khori Blair on a 12-yard touchdown pass, extending the lead to 14-10 with 3:19 left in the second quarter.
Other notable contributors offensively for OPRF included senior wide receiver Jared Scott (4 catches, 65 yards, TD) and junior running back Terrance Roundy (11 carries, 51 yards, TD).
Defensively, the Huskies held the Blazers scoreless until late in the third quarter.
“Our defense is amazing,” Hunt said. “They bailed us out a lot. It’s nice knowing that we don’t have to score on every single drive because our defense will back us up.”
Addison Trail junior running back Nicholas Dambrose scored on a 13-yard TD run with 5:14 to play in the third quarter to cut the Huskies’ lead to 28-7. The Blazers scored again on an 11-yard pass from senior quarterback Bobby Daniels to senior wide receiver Stevan Jones with 7:38 left in the game.
The Huskies closed out the scoring with a 6-yard touchdown run up the middle by Roundy late in the fourth quarter for a 35-14 win.
Senior middle linebacker Rollian Sturkey led defensively with two sacks. Eddie Gorens, Noah Coplan, Tariq Thurman, Ryan Molina and Brenden Flowers, among others, also contributed on defense. Senior cornerback Keyon Blankenbaker also blocked a 38-yard field goal attempt by the Blazers in the second quarter.
While there’s still room for improvement, Hunt likes the direction the Huskies are headed.
“We’re going to take the win, but learn from the mistakes we made,” Hunt said. “I just have to take the game in stride and learn what I can learn.
“We just have to clean up the small mental mistakes and physical mistakes, and we can keep building off of each week.”
OPRF hosts Morton, the Huskies’ second and final conference crossover game, on Friday, Sept. 9 (7:30 p.m.).
Fenwick blows out Bowen
Fresh off an inspiring win against Class 4A state champion Phillips, the Fenwick High School football team had a much easier time against a Chicago Public School in Week 2 action.
Fenwick routed visiting Bowen 51-0 on Friday at Triton College in River Grove.
Senior quarterback Jacob Keller completed 4 of 6 passes for 51 yards and a pair of touchdowns. After two games, Keller has six TD passes and no interceptions.
Sherman Martin had two catches for a team-best 42 receiving yards, while tight end Jack Henige contributed two receptions for nine yards and two touchdowns.
After a tough outing against a very physical Phillips defense, Fenwick running back Conner Lillig rebounded nicely with 98 yards and two TDs on just five carries against Bowen. Michael Paunove, George Lazios and Jackson Haeflinger contributed a rushing touchdown apiece for the victors.
The Friars (2-0) dominated the action with their ground game, amassing 152 yards and five touchdowns on 15 carries.
Defensively, Lorenzano Blakeney led Fenwick with four tackles, with his brother, Lorente, Gavin Ortiz and Jason Ivery chipping in three tackles each. Miles Guillen added a safety.
Fenwick hosts Montini on Friday, Sept. 9 at Triton College. Kickoff is 7:30 p.m.
-Marty Farmer contributed to this story.