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White Varsity rolls into semifinals

Bohanek scores twice in 1st quarter
in 24-0 win over Bourbonnais

 
ByKevin McGavin
 
ORLAND PARK -- The White Varsity football team has few flaws.
 
The few mistakes the team made in its River Valley Youth Football League 24-0 victory over Bourbonnais on Sunday afternoon at Sandburg High School came after touchdowns.
 
“There is always room for improvement,” Orland Park coach Mark Mikesell said. “We had three extra-kick points blocked. We had some penalties.”
 
Still, the White Varsity enters the playoff semifinals against Black Division Frankfort Square riding a 35-game winning streak after its latest running-clock contest.
 
Orland Park will play Frankfurt Square Black for the second time this season Sunday at Providence High School in New Lenox.
 
The top-seeded Pioneers (10-0) needed only one possession to score all the points they needed against Bourbonnais.
 
Colin Bohanek is the workhorse for the Pioneers, and the running back had a banner day.
 
“Colin is a tremendous running back,” Orland Park halfback Mike D’Antonio said. “He does a great job.”
 
Bohanek scored from three and two yards to stake the Pioneers to a two-score lead over the Bears after the first quarter.
 
The Pioneers were equally dominant on defense behind such stalwarts as defensive lineman Jalil McLaughlin.
 
“It wasn’t just me; it was a team effort,” McLaughlin said. “The linebackers enabled me to get to the ball. We took care of business tonight.”
 
Bourbonnais, the no. 8 seed, had its most promising possession on its third drive.
 
But the Pioneers’ defense was as stout as ever after the Bears crossed their 10-yard line.
 
McLaughlin stymied the Bourbonnais on fourth-and-goal before Orland Park showcased its offensive dexterity on the next drive.
 
Bohanek had two double-digit gains on the ground, and Jadon Thompson became a welcome friend for quarterback Mikesell.
 
Mikesell and Thompson collaborated on a nine-yard touchdown one play after a 28-yard connection.
 
Orland Park moved 85 yards in nine plays to extend its lead 18-0 over the Bears with 2 minutes, 37 seconds remaining before the halftime intermission.
 
“We’re just trying to raise the bar every week,” D’Antonio said. “I don’t think there’s a limit. I think we can get better every week. We all played as a team and definitely pulled out the shutout.”
 
Orland Park limited Bourbonnais to two first downs in the opening half, and the Pioneers had a golden chance to extend their lead to four scores late in the first half.
 
But the Mike Bosco fumble recovery that threatened a running clock at halftime proved illusionary as Mikesell was intercepted at the Bears’ goal line.
 
“I messed up on the wheel route,” Mikesell said.
 
But the Orland Park miscue was made irrelevant in the second half after D’Antonio scored from nine yards out on the Pioneers opening drive after the break.
 
The score was now 24-0, and a running clock was set for the remainder of the game.
 
The Bears would have but two more possessions to avert the shutout, but Thompson had an interception to thwart the first Bourbonnais drive.
 
Bosco made sure the Orland Park shutout was intact with a fumble recovery on the Bears’ last possession.
 
With the backfield of Bohanek, D’Antonio and Mikesell required to sit for the remainder of the game, Jack Shelton, David Antoine and Jason Uldrych took over the controls for Orland Park.
 
Mikesell enjoyed a banner game against the Bears
 
“It’s a lot easier to throw with wide receivers like that,” the Marist-bound eighth-grader said. “(The Bears) have good players, but our defense as a team was better. (The defense) didn’t let them get to the edge. We have good d-backs and linebackers to chase them down.”
 
Pioneers who contibuted to the victory included: Victor Morkos, John Slechta, Sean Hanley, Blake Eberle, John Burner, Tristan Stefanos, Ryan Khatib, Luke Montgomery, Gage Fauber, Hugh Brennan, Luke Kedzierski, Blake Biszewski, Brett Fassler, Ethan McCormick, Rayan Agha, Michael Moehle, Isaiah Portillo, Frank Cannatello, Jonathan Trevino, Tyler Van Stedum, Jake Hasselmann, Brian Henhan and Alex Lalezas.
 
The seventh- and eighth-grade cheerleaders performed at the game. The squad is comprised of: Caitlyn Brenner, Morgan Fandl, Maura Harty,  Meagan Walsh, Anna Crnich, Morgan McGuire, McKenzie Hedinger, Hannah Scanlon, Nina Dixon, Hallie Hultquist, Kayle Hoak, Kayla Dombrowski, Lauryn McDonald, Caroline Schmidt, Meghan Haran, Fiona Gallagher, Breanne Ferguson, Rugile Laurinaityte and Lexi Alfini.
 
The girls are coached by Sandburg students Rachel Sizemore, a junior, and freshman Hailey Barnett.
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