Disabato: Andrew looks for football turnaround against Sandburg
By Pat Disabato firstname.lastname@example.org Twitter: @disabato September 4, 2013 9:00PM
Andrew's Jacob Platt | File photo
Sandburg vs. Andrew in football
2012: Sandburg 30, Andrew 23
2011: Sandburg 17, Andrew 10
2010: Sandburg 33, Andrew 16
2009: Sandburg 26, Andrew 7
2008: Sandburg 33, Andrew 27
2007: Andrew 31, Sandburg 3
2006: Sandburg 26, Andrew 9
2005: Sandburg 39, Andrew 25
2004: Sandburg 21, Andrew 6
Updated: October 7, 2013 12:49PM
So will this be the year, the season when a talented Andrew squad takes down its nemesis, Sandburg, and provides T-bolt Storm fans with a reason to celebrate by way of a Route 45 Super Bowl win?
It’s been five long years since the Thunderbolts claimed victory over the Eagles. In fact, Andrew has lost eight of nine decision to Sandburg, dating to the first game between the two rivals in 2004.
Granted, Andrew’s lone win constitutes the largest margin of victory between the two, a 31-3 romp in 2007.
However, one lopsided victory can’t overcome the fact Sandburg has pretty much owned Andrew on the field of play.
“It’s a long time coming,” said Andrew quarterback Jacob Platt, who threw four touchdowns during a season-opening 54-23 win Saturday over Bremen. “It’s definitely a heated rivalry. They’re right down the street from us. They’re a great team.”
Whether Sandburg is a great team remains to be seen.
If you look at Andrew’s and Sandburg’s body of work from Week 1, the Thunderbolts clearly are closer to “greatness” than Sandburg.
The Eagles led Lincoln-Way Central 21-6 at halftime, despite not recording a single first down, and eventually lost 26-21.
The Thunderbolts had no such issues with Bremen, posting a dominant 54-23 victory. Receivers Danny Ball and Nino Sanfilippo combined to haul in 13 passes for 289 yards and four TDs from Platt.
That’s a season’s worth of passing totals for some past Andrew teams.
Thunderbolts running back Jarvion Franklin, a Western Michigan recruit, barely broke a sweat against the Braves, registering 83 yards. Translation: He’ll be well rested for Sandburg.
“Of course, the Sandburg game is the one you circle on the schedule,” Franklin said. “We’ll be all amped up vs. Sandburg.”
No trash talk. No predictions. Platt and Franklin remained respectful and humble when referring to Sandburg.
As well they should. When you’re 1-8 against an opponent, the last thing you should do is talk trash — even if in your heart of hearts you believe you’re going to win. A better path is to allow your performance to do the talking.
“Sandburg is big up front and we are not,” Andrew coach Jim Malec said. “We need to get our offense on the field and our defense off it as quickly as possible.”
Most of the nine games between the two rivals have been relatively close, including last year’s 30-23 Sandburg win. Franklin didn’t have his best performance that night, which I’m certain will fuel his fire for Friday. You can’t be as gifted as Franklin and not be ready to unleash your “A” game in your final game against your archrival.
If Andrew is going to leave Orland Park on Friday with a win, Franklin is going to be a key.
His presence alone demands accountability from the Eagles. No way, even after Andrew’s passing game exhibition against Bremen, can Sandburg discount Franklin. If the Eagles defense focuses on stopping the Thunderbolts’ passing game, Franklin likely will have a field day.
On the flip side, if the Eagles focus too much attention on Franklin, Andrew’s passing game could prosper, similar to how it did Friday.
“We did a lot of good things on Friday,” Malec said.
Truth be told, this is the most talented team Andrew has had in years, probably since the 2007 team that finished 7-2 in the regular season, losing only to Rock Island 21-20 and Lincoln-Way East 13-10.
Despite its difficult performance against Central, I wouldn’t count out Sandburg in this game. History suggests as much. Plus, the Eagles are at home.
“They’ve had our number, for sure,” Malec said. “It’s going to be a great atmosphere. We want to play well and win.”