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Pioneer quarterback Tommy McAuliffe is cool under pressure in the pocket against Tri-City. 

JV White can't solve Tri-City

Falls 25-0 for 1st loss of season

Text by Kevin McGavin
Photos by Ed Muniz

 
CHICAGO -- The Orland Park Pioneers Junior Varsity White was behind the eight-ball after the first play from scrimmage Sunday at Marist High School.
 
Tri-City scored on a 55-yard run on a misdirection play, and the Pioneers never seemed to recover in dropping their first game of the year by a 25-0 score.
 
“Defensively, we couldn’t seem to stop them,” JV coach Tom McAuliffe said.
 
Orland Park (2-1) had a promising drive on its first offensive series.
 
Starting quarterback Kevin Zimmer rumbled 21 yards on a bootleg around the left side to enter Wolverines’ territory.
 
But in what would be commonplace for the remainder of the drive, the usual suspects that kill drives — penalties, incompletions and negative-yardage plays — doomed the opening Orland Park possession.
 
“Penalties have been killing us,” McAulifee said. “We can’t have that and be successful.”
 
After stopping Orland Park on fourth down to get the ball back for a second time, the Wolverines were much more methodical with their second drive.
 
Unfortunately for the Pioneers, it ended up in the same result. Tri-City extended its lead to 13-0 on a 13-play, 67-yard drive that chewed up time the Pioneers needed to get back in the game.
 
To make matters worse, Zimmer turned his ankle on the Pioneers’ second drive, a three-and-done that Tri-City quickly capitalized on to take a 19-0 lead.
 
There were less than three minutes to play in the opening half when the Wolverines fashioned their three-score advantage.
 
But the Pioneers had one final say before the halftime show.
 
Tommy McAuliffe spelled Zimmer at quarterback and quickly found Jimmy Rolder for a 24-yard pass and run.
 
“I was thinking, ‘How am I going to get out of bounds?’” Rolder said. “The clock was ticking. I tried to get out of bounds.”
 
McAulifee made it back-to-back first downs for the Pioneers when Julian Loeza hauled in an 11-yard strike.
 
But once again, a false start penalty — as well as an incomplete pass — ended the Pioneers’ hopes for a score before half.
 
Luckily for Orland Park, Tri-City ran out of time after three-consecutive big plays before halftime put them in position to score again.
 
“We were familiar with (their offense),” coach McAuliffe said. “We put in some new stuff for the week. We had some miscommunication on some of our responsibilities. We weren’t there, and I take the most of the blame for that.”
 
Junior Varsity White Pioneer Jimmy Rolder (center) gets up after catching a pass from quarterback Tommy McAuliffe during their battle with the Tri-City Wolverines.
 
Orland Park had yet another solid looking drive on its opening second half possession.
 
McAuliffe and Michael Ulleweit had a 25-yard collaboration through the air; not too much longer, Orland Park had first-and-goal at the Wolverines’ 7-yard line.
 
“I just saw that no one was covering me,” Ulleweit said of his catch and run. “I knew it was a chance to try and get into the end zone. It was a really good pass by Tommy. We didn’t execute in the red zone.”
 
However, McAulifee was sacked on consecutive plays to end the threat.
 
Tri-City responded with another big play — a 79-yard touchdown gallop — and the Pioneers’ offense would hardly see the ball again as the running-clock allowed a total of six plays for the rest of the game.
 
“We had some nice catches, and I think we improved (as the game progressed),” Tommy McAuliffe said of the Pioneers’ bright spots. “We had some good blocks, and (the receivers) got open.”
 
There was one element to the game Orland Park could never solve.
 
“Their offensive line was really good,” said Rolder, who plays linebacker on defense. “Whenever I blitzed — and I blitzed a lot — they were able to stand me up.”
 
There are 35-member JV White squad includes: Danny Durkin, Joe Shelton, Mark Brannigan (out with an injury), Zakery Bowden, Giovanni Fricano, Christopher Slectha, Tommy Ward, Shaw Stukel, Max Montgomery, Ben Schieber, Jackson Schramm, Max Poda, Jacob Maziarka, Luke Devito, Trevor Jennings, Jonathan Klutcharch, Jake Liskiewicz, Conor McCormick, Jake McGriff, Frank D’Antonio, Anthony Stotts, Gavin Kissane, Luke Masino, Jacob Goodman, Jack Frazier, Angelo Citarella, Anthony Dombrowski, Ryan Noonan, Danny Witkowski and Kyle Peterson.
 
Cheering on the Pioneers were: Bartley Averey, Brittany Booker, Brooklyn Cooper, Carleigh Fountain, Paige Gasparas, Maria Gonsch, Erin Haw, Emma Herout, Audrey Hickman, Brianna Iraci, Marissa Jentel, Mariah Karamangianis, Mia Maniatis, Ella McDonald, Megan Murphy, Victoria Panek, Gianna Patterson, Sydney Pisarik, Sarah Santana, Terra Schommer, Genevieve Schramm, Kara Stevens, Natalia Stratton, Nicole Tatar and Betty Tsoutsas.
 
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