Football: Crete-Monee overwhelms T.F. South
By Tim O’Brien For Sun-Times Media August 31, 2013 11:42PM
Updated: October 2, 2013 6:36AM
“A new journey.”
Addressing his team after a convincing season-opening win Saturday night at T.F. South, first-year Crete-Monee coach John Konecki wasn’t talking about last year.
No, the 2012 6A state title is a thing of the past. The Warriors are focusing on the 2013 campaign.
Dominating on defense and special teams, Crete-Monee cruised to a 43-6 win over host T.F. South in Lansing.
“We use what our coaches taught us,” Crete-Monee’s Chris Jernigan said. “We knew we had a target on our backs, but we had a goal to accomplish and we played a good game.”
It was Jernigan blowing open a 13-0 game in the third quarter with T.F. South pinned deep in its own territory at the 3-yard line.
Bursting through the line, Jernigan wrapped up South quarterback Cody Petrich in the end zone for the safety. Elijah Douglas returned the following free kick 71 yards for the score.
Quarterback Frank Douglas (11-of-20, 134 yards, 2 TDs, 2 interceptions) ran the ball in for the 2-point conversion, putting Crete (1-0) up 23-0 midway through the third.
The Crete-Monee defense was dominant throughout, Jernigan adding another safety late. Johnathan Draper managed two early tackles for a loss and came through with a third quarter interception for the Warriors.
The dominant defensive effort came without the services of star linebacker Nyles Morgan who sat out the opener.
“Nyles not starting is definitely a loss, but we feel like one player doesn’t make the team,” Jernigan said. “We all pitched in on the effort. (On the safety), the coaches saw something in their running, and I did what I was taught. I had to contain him.”
Petrich finished just 11-of-34 overall for 174 yards with a touchdown and two interceptions (coming by Draper and Trevon Smith).
“We’re real confident as a defense,” Draper said. “We made a lot of mistakes, but they are all fixable mistakes.”
Opening the score in the first half, Douglas hit Raphael Vallot on a screen pass, Vallot running up the left side for the 30-yard strike. Deshaun Smith (15 carries, 64 yards) found the end zone later in the second on a two-yard run to the right to give the Warriors a 13-0 lead.
T.F. South (0-1) finally got in the board in the fourth quarter when Petrich found Elijah Graham on a fade route in the end zone, good for a 10-yard touchdown pass.