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The Varsity White offensive line squares up against Romeoville's defense Sunday at Marist High School.

Orland Park Varsity White cruises
to 26th-straight victory

Thompson collects 4 TDs in 36-0 win

Text by Kevin McGavin
Photos by Ed Muniz

CHICAGO -- The first time Hayden Mikesell targeted Jadon Thompson on Sunday night at Marist High School, the Orland Park Varsity White quarterback overthrew the speedy wide receiver.
 
“It was my bad,” Mikesell said.
 
Not much else went wrong for the Pioneers’ vaunted Varsity unit the rest of the night against Romeoville.
 
Thompson, in his first year with the Pioneers’ program after playing for Thornton, had a remarkable evening for Orland Park.
 
The eighth-grader was a one-man wrecking crew during the Pioneers’ 36-0 victory over Romeoville. He scored four touchdowns, which came in all three phases of the sport.
 
With Orland Park facing a fourth down from midfield on its first possession, Thompson lined up on the right side from his flanker position. Mikesell hit Thompson with a wide-receiver screen, and the latter did the rest. With plenty of help from his offensive line, Thompson reached the edge on the left side and cruised down the sidelines to give Orland Park all the points it would need.
 
“I was messing up earlier in the game, and I was trying to redeem myself,” Thompson said.
 
Thompson was equally lethal as a punt returner for the Pioneers.
 
After needing only two plays on their second possession to double the lead to 12-0 in the first quarter — Colin Bohanek rumbled in from 35  yards after catching a Mikesell pass in the right flat — Thompson had a 37-yard punt return to give Orland Park ideal field position at the Spartans’ 17-yard line.
 
The Pioneers’ bruising halfback Mike D’Antonio needed but two more plays to give Orland Park an 18-0 lead with back-to-back punishing runs, the last from two yards out.
 
Meanwhile, Romeoville continued to stuggle with the Mikesell-Thompson collaboration.
 
Head coach Mark Mikesell gives instructions to his quarterback son Hayden Mikesell during their 36-0 win over Romeoville.
While Romeoville (0-2) had three three-and-outs on its first four possessions, Thompson continued his extraordinary night needing only one play on the Pioneers’ fourth drive to haul in a 32-yard post pattern from Mikesell for a 24-0 Orland Park lead.
 
“Jadon made a nice move on the guy, and the line made good blocks,” Mikesell said. “I was free in the pocket, and (Thompson) was wide open. He was just so open, and I got it there.”
 
Coach Mark Mikesell is impressed with the team's new addition.
 
“Jadon is a heck of a receiver,” the Orland Park coach said. “He has had a tremendous impact on the team.”
 
Just when Romeoville thought Orland Park was content to enter the halftime intermission with a four-score lead, Thompson saved his most electrifying play for the coup de grace.
 
Fielding the Spartans’ final first-half punt at his own 42-yard line, Thompson picked up a convey down the left sideline. Approaching the Spartans’ 20-yard line, Thompson eluded three would-be tacklers with a darting move to the right side and scored his third first half touchdown without hardly being touched.
 
“I had to follow my blocks and do what I could,” Thompson said.
 
Thompson, however, was not completely finished for the night.
 
On the Spartans’ opening possession, Romeoville had quality field position as the Pioneers were forced to kick off from their own 20-yard line as dictated by a running-clock game.
 
Romeoville faced a long, third down conversion when its quarterback heaved a deep ball down the right sideline.
 
Now in the defensive backfield more or less playing centerfield, Thompson picked off the pass.
 
With virtually no Romeoville player on that side of the field, Thompson raced unopposed 68 yards for the last of his four touchdowns.
 
“Return it for a touchdown,” Thompson said of his mindset when he got the pick. “That’s basically was all that was on my mind.”
 
It concluded the scoring for Orland Park and continued the varsity's four-year winning streak to 26 games with yet another one-sided triumph.
 
The Pioneers’ marquee squad has not lost a game since a 2011 playoff loss to Mokena.
 
On the ensuing kickoff, D’Antonio had a pulverizing hit on the Spartans’ returner to typify the Pioneers’ overall dominance.
 
“We’re trying to get these guys ready for high school football,” coach Mikesell said. “We talk about offense, defense and special teams. You have to have all three to be a complete football team.”
 
Romeoville managed but two first downs on the game.
 
“The defense was swarming to the ball,” coach Mikesell said. “They were unleashed today.”
 
“We were containing them, and they couldn’t do anything about it,” said Hugh Brennan, who started at center for Orland Park but switched to defense in the second half. “They were trying to get to the edge.”
 
All 33 Orland Park Varsity members saw action in the game. David Antoine, Jack Shelton, Victor Morkos, John Slechta, Sean Hanley, Blake Eberle, John Burner, Tristan Stefanos, Ryan Khatib, Luke Montgomery, Gage Fauber, Jason Uldrych, Luke Kedzierski, Mike Bosco, Blake Biszewski, Brett Fassler, Ethan McCormick, Rayan Agha, Michael Moehle, Isaiah Portillo, Jalil McLaughlin, Frank Cannatello, Jonathon Trevino, Tyler Van Stedum, Jake Hesselmann, Brian Henehan and Alex Lalezas contibuted to the big win.
 
Cheerleading for the winners were: Anna Crnich, Kayla Dombrowski, Marisa Garza, Breanna Gasparas, Gabriella Gianakas, Samantha Kowalski, Nina Dixon, Breanne Ferguson, Fiona Gallagher, Alexandra Kolodziejczyk, Samantha Poda, Lauryn McDonald and Hallie Hultquist.
 
“When school starts we go down to six (hours per week of training),” said varsity cheerleader coach Rachel Sizemore, a junior at Sandburg. “We’re just trying to get (the girls) ready for Sandburg (cheerleading).” 
 
Today's Schedule: Season Schedule