Woodstock North football coach Jeff Schroeder was happy with how his team fought until the final whistle Friday against Crystal Lake Central, but he was not pleased with the Tigers following the Thunder's 46-33 loss.
As both teams’ players finished shaking hands after the game, Schroeder exchanged heated words with the Tigers’ coaching staff. Schroeder was upset at what he believed were unnecessarily hard and late hits on North quarterback Jimmy Krenger, as Krenger carried out fakes in North’s option offense. At one point, Krenger came out of the game after absorbing a hit to the ground, though he eventually returned.
“I think the four or five personal fouls speak for themselves,” Schroeder said. “An attempt at suplexing kids, their wrestling moves and all that shenanigans speaks for itself.”
Central coach Matt Fralick made it clear that his defense wasn’t trying to purposefully injure any player.
“We teach our defense that if they don’t know whose got the ball then we’re going to tackle the quarterback,” Fralick said. “So no, I don’t apologize for anything. We teach our kids to tackle the quarterback in option football.”
Marian's new option: Marian Central has found another component for its already-potent passing game.
Junior Jordan Niemeyer, who plays safety on defense, has made an impact with the snaps he gets on offense. Niemeyer, one of the fastest Hurricanes, has three touchdown catches in the last two games.
Niemeyer caught five passes for 126 yards and two touchdowns in Friday’s 40-35 loss to Montini. He was an unknown factor coming into the season after suffering a broken left foot as a sophomore and battling a hamstring injury last summer.
“It feels great to try to get [quarterback Billy Bahl’s] confidence in me,” Niemeyer said. “That can open up things for Brett [Olson] and [Tommy] Klinger.”
Niemeyer has 11 receptions for 235 yards and three touchdowns for the season. He caught scoring passes of 15 and 63 yards against Montini and has two catches for 85 yards in the previous game against St. Francis.
“It means a lot, he’s another guy for us to go to,” Hurricanes coach Ed Brucker said. “We were counting on him to start as a sophomore and he got hurt. We’re hoping he improves, because he plays good defense and really helps us there.”
Niemeyer was fifth last spring in the 100 meters at the McHenry County Track and Field Meet and second in the long jump. He aggravated a hamstring in the sectional track meet, which forced him out of most of Marian’s summer football activities.
A-H wants more: Alden-Hebron (5-2) knows it should have ample points to make the playoffs since the Northeastern Athletic Conference plays only conference games. NAC teams are guaranteed 40 points, and only once (2011) has the IHSA playoff cutoff been that high.
The Giants now want to improve their Class 1A playoff situation in their final games against North Shore Country Day (1-6) and Ottawa Marquette (7-0).
“We talk about here that a five-win season, in my eyes, is kind of disappointing for what we’ve done in the past,” Giants coach John Lalor said. “Going 6-3 or 7-2 would be a whole lot better. Your reward for being 5-4 would be to go to see [top-ranked] Stockton or [No. 7] Forreston right away. I’ve had enough of that. I don’t want to see that.”
A-H finishes at North Shore Country Day in Winnetka on Saturday, then with a 7 p.m. Friday game on Oct. 25. The Giants are renting lights for their first home night game ever.
Daniels out: Marian Central linebacker Chris Daniels suffered a Grade 2 shoulder separation in Friday’s game at Montini, but should return for the playoffs. Brucker thought Daniels, who also plays some running back, would be held out against St. Edward (5-2) and Wheaton Academy (3-4).
“We’ll hold him out and see if he can go. We hope he’ll be able to go for the playoffs,” Brucker said. “He’s a lot better than we originally thought.”
Evans getting close: Prairie Ridge offensive tackle Shane Evans says he likely will make his college decision within the next week.
Evans (6-foot-4, 300 pounds) received multiple offers last summer and trimmed his list to Cincinnati, Northern Illinois, Toledo and Western Michigan.
Evans is a four-year varsity starter and helped the Wolves to the 2011 Class 6A state championship. He was a Northwest Herald All-Area first-team selection last season and made second team as a sophomore.