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Pioneers runner Max Montgomery streaks into the clear for a 25-yard Pioneers touchdown run against Frankfort Square.
 

Junior Varsity wins big

Posts 39-7 rout of Frankfort Square Black

 
Text by Ed Muniz
Photos by Renee Kaspar 
 
 
TINLEY PARK -- Entering week seven of the River Valley Youth Football League season, the Orland Park Pioneers Junior Varsity hit the road to take on the Frankfort Square Black Wildcats on September 25.
 
The Pioneers (5-1-0) were looking for some medicine for what ailed them and that’s exactly what they got against the Black Wildcats (3-4-0). The visitors dominated every phase of the game in a 39-7 rout.
 
Coming in with one goal in mind, the Pioneers were a force that had a collective team thought from the get-go.
 
But it wasn’t a perfect effort. The Pioneers used most of the first quarter just to get out the kinks. Late in the period, the Pioneers finally managed to get their offense going with a steady drive to the Wildcats 5-yard line.
 
One play later, tailback Jimmy Rolder took a handoff from quarterback Tommy McAuliffe and blasted off-tackle for the opening score of the game.
 
A 6-0 lead was carried into the second quarter when the Pioneers defense hit a glitch just a couple of plays in. Frankfort Square broke off a huge 63-yard run to go ahead 7-6 after a successful conversion.
 
The Pioneers were back at it offensively but were still shocked after the quick-hitter from the hosts. Orland Park couldn’t get any offense going and soon was forced to punt.
 
Zackery Bowden, Nicholas Edelen and Jack Harty quickly made short work of the Wildcats' next trio of offensive plays. Then a huge punt block by Jack Schramm careened right into the arms of Kyle Peterson as he waited to see how the play developed. Peterson dashed 23 yards for the go-ahead touchdown. The Pioneer lead grew to 13-7 when McAuliffe found Jake Maziarka for the point-after.
 
“My teammate blocked the punt, and it just came right to me,” said Peterson. “I wanted to grab the ball and score once I saw the block and get to the endzone as fast as possible. On punts I don’t rush, I see what happens, and it works sometimes.”
 
Pioneer running-back Jake Maziarka (right) fends off a would be Wildcat tackler during a run.
The main duty of the Pioneers defense was now to hold the lead. Led by Rolder, Julian Loeza and Joey Shelton, the defense forced a quick punt which would ultimately lead to another Pioneer score.
 
A 9-yard pass from Mcauliffe to Michael Ulleweit and an 11-yard pass to Maziarka got the Pioneers closer to paydirt with time nearly out in the first half.
 
After a pair of incompletions inside a minute left, McAuliffe found his target. This time it was Loeza, who then quickly pitched the ball off to trailing Rolder to execute the perfect “hook and ladder” play that went 44 yards for the touchdown. Adding another McAuliffe to Maziarka point-after pass, the Pioneers led 20-7 at halftime.
 
The host Wildcats began the second half in the worst way. Unable to move the ball and actually losing yardage, they attempted to punt. But a bad snap sailed over the punter's head and was recovered by the Pioneers' Joey Shelton.
 
The offense now had the luxury of a short field for their first drive of the second half.
 
Two plays later, Maziarka and Rolder had the Pioneers at the Wildcats 20. From there Maziarka took a pitch left and outraced everyone to the goalline for the Pioneers fourth score. The extra-point failed but the lead grew to 26-7. 
 
The Pioneers soon added more scoring when Rolder powered his way in from 12 yards to increase the lead to 32-7 as the third quarter neared its end.
 
Orland Park's special teams again strutted their stuff with another blocked punt. This time Ulleweit recovered the loose ball.
 
Switching things around, the offense was now under the direction of Jake Stefanos. It used the rushing attack of Andrew Dado, Nick D’Antonio and speedster Max Montgomery to work the Pioneers offense to the Widcats 25.
 
From there, a quick burst through the line and a cut to his right let Montgomery flash by everyone and add one last touchdown for the Pioneers. Lalezas added the point-after for a 39-7 lead which held up as the final score.
 
Running back Jake Maziarka was glad for the win but not totally elated.
 
Kyle Peterson crosses the goal-line after a 23-yard return of a blocked punt against the Frankfort Square Black Wildcats.
 
“We came in slow today. It was rough week of practice,” he said. “Ever since the Frankfort win, I don’t know if it’s just that we think we are too good, or we haven’t been putting in the effort. It’s been hard, and we just seem tired. 
 
“I think since we beat the number one team, we think we are tops, but we have to keep working hard to get better. We picked up in the second half, but we have to have 100% effort the whole game. We have to work on that.”
 
Maziarka gave credit to his line and stated that he thought his whole line was excellent. 
 
When asked about his running success he said: “I think I have good vision and can see the holes, and I love breaking tackles. When I’m in the open field, when I know I got that far, there’s no way they’re going to bring me down then.”
 
Head coach Mark Mikesell shared his running back's concerns.
 
“It was a big rebound from last week, but I know we didn’t play good. I know the scoreboard said we scored 39 points but essentially, a blocked punt which was a gift and we pulled a “hook and ladder,” so really it should have been a 7-6 game.”
 
He went on to talk about adjustments at halftime.
 
“We told them it was unacceptable. And we made some changes. Offensively I was disappointed, and defensively we didn’t shift right, and they hit us on a big play. We just have got to keep getting better.”
 
Mikesell did compliment the play of Rolder and Maziarka for their outstanding efforts.
 
Christian Evans, Martinas Petruska, Ryan Welch, Andrew Dado, Nergui Munkbat, John Thompson, Troy Faille, Scott Rybak, Lukas Pukstys, Tommy Durkin, Sean Halloran, Conor McCormick, Charlie Soltys, Jacob Masino, John Mazenko, Joseph Calacci, Ryan McPolin, Brian Devlin, Drew Saunders, Frank D’Antonio, Abdel Ghouleh, Tommy Stotts, Gavin Kissane, Nicholas Presbitero, Connor Beach, Jackson Beach, Kenneth Gillette, Tyler Biszewski, Mike Rafazti, Angelo Citarella and Max Urbas aided the Pioneers in the big win.
 
Cheering on players and leading the fans were the Pioneer sixth- and seventh-grade cheerleading squad: Alivia Achterhof, Brittany Booker, Madeline Casey, Kayla Conrad, Brooklyn Cooper, Jazmine Estrada, Carleigh Fountain, Paige Gasparas, Ella Gillund, Maria Gonsch, Erin Haw, Emma Herout, Audrey Hickman, Amber Hoak, Brianna Iraci, Samantha Jeffries, Giselle Jreisat, Chloe LaVelle, Jocelyn LaVelle, Ella McDonald, Grace McReynolds, Ariana Morris, Megan Murphy, McKayla Onderwater, Gianna Patterson, Sydney Pisarik, Dana Rafati, Angelina Salaita, Claudia Sawik, Kara Stevens, Nicole Tatar, Yoanni Trevino and Lija Vigants.
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