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Blasting through a huge hole made by the blocking of teammates Scott Rybak (20), John Mazenko (37), Kenneth Gillette (67) and Charlie Soltys (27), running back Tommy Stotts powers upfield during the Pioneers 19-0 win over Frankfort Falcons Black.

 

JV posts Wednesday shutout over Frankfort

Stefanos, Montgomery, Lalezas TDs add up to 19-0 victory

 

Text and photos by Ed Muniz

ORLAND PARK -- With a win for the Orland Park Pioneers Lightweights already in the books on September 14, the Pioneers Junior Varsity Pioneers were now called on to defend home turf when a visiting hoard of Frankfort Black Falcons hit the Wednesday Night League field at Sandburg High School.

 

Hosting the Falcons, the Pioneers wanted to continue that winning feeling, one they'd already experienced twice. Coaches Mark Mikesell and John Stefanos looked to give several Pioneers plenty of field time which they might not otherwise have gotten if it wasn't for the inception of this league.

 

The JV Pioneers have the largest team they’ve ever had with 47 boys pacing the sidelines, each waiting for their number to be called. For many, that happens every Wednesday.

 

The Pioneers were looking to improve their league standing with a victory. After the final seconds of the game, the Pioneers did just that with a solid 19-0 win.

 

The Pioneers made the most of their opening opportunity. The offense, led by the quarterbacking duo of Jake Stefanos and Christian Evans, didn’t take long to jump ahead.

 

Stefanos opened under center and led his Pioneers offense via a mixture of run and pass plays. Stefanos first connected with Scott Rybak through the air to gain 13 yards. That was followed by hard runs from Andrew Dado and Max Montgomery. Going back to the pass, Stefanos found running back Nick D’Antonio wide open for 18 yards. 

 

Stefanos then recovered a fumbled snap and raced 20 yards for the game's first score. He followed with a toss to D’Antonio for the point-after and a quick 7-0 lead.

 

Now on defense after a short return by the Falcons, the Pioneers pressured and overwhelmed their guests and made gaining yardage difficult. Jimmy Lalezas led the way with a couple tackles to open the game. Rybak, Stefanos, D’Antonio and Troy Faille all chipped in with solo tackles as well.

 

Forcing a Falcon punt, the Pioneers offense went back to work to open the second quarter. Now with Evans under center, the Pioneers again went to the air and saw Rybak haul in a pass from Evans and go 14 yards. But that was the highlight of the drive as the Falcons defense bent but didn’t break and forced a Pioneer punt.

 
 
Pioneers receiver Scott Rybak takes off after catching a pass against Frankfort.

On the Falcons next drive, a third down pass attempt looked like an easy score when their receiver got behind the defense and was wide open, but an alert Jackson Beach recovered just in time to get a hand on the ball and knock down a sure touchdown.

The first half was winding down but the Pioneers had a couple minutes to try to add to the lead. Stefanos came back in at QB and did manage to connect on a pass to Rybak for 23 yards, but that came just as time wound down. Orland Park went to the locker room with a 7-0 lead.

Opening the third quarter, the Falcons and Pioneers exchanged punts. The next offensive try was once again followed by another Falcon punt. The Pioneers took their next possession and thanks to running back Montgomery, quickly extended their lead to 13-0 when he took a handoff and accelerated through the line and passed every Falcon defender while going 60 yards for the touchdown.

“I was following my blockers and got to the opening, and I just started running,” said the speedster. “I play four back which is mostly blocking.”

When asked what he feels he needs to do to do to carry the ball more including in regular league games, he replied “I think I just have to work harder to get in there.” 

Montgomery’s quickness and ability to shift past everyone was at its most eye-catching on his long touchdown run.

The Pioneer defense now stepped up the pressure with John Maznko and Abdel Ghouleh delivering some hard-hitting tackles; and Drew Sauders blasting a Falcon runner, which forced a fumble.

A later drive also garnered the Pioneers defense another turnover when the Falcons tried to close the gap via the air. The Pioneers’ Lukas Pukstys cradled in a pass for the intercepton. That was immediately followed by the Pioneers third touchdown of the game.

Getting his shot to run the ball, Jimmy Lalezas pounded his way in from 3 yards with just 35 seconds left in the game to make the final score 19-0.

Others who contributed to the shutout win were: Martinas Petruska, Ryan Welch, Munkhbat Nergui, John Thompson, Tommy Durkin, Sean Halloran, Conor McCormick, Charlie Soltys, Jacob Masino, Nicholas Edelen, Joseph Calacci, Michael Ulleweit, Ryan McPolin, Brian Devlin, Frank D’Antonio, Tommy Stotts, Thomas Starcevich, Gavin Kissane, Jack Harty, Nicholas Presbitero, Connor Beach, Ken Gillette, Tyler Biszewski, Mike Rafti, Zakery Bowden, Kyle Peterson, Angelo Citarella, Max Urbas. Jimmy Rolder, Tommy McAuliffe, Jacob Maziarka, Joe Shelton and Jullian Loeza, 

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