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Pioneers receiver Beck Stukel goes up to grab a pass against frankfort square on Sept. 25.


Super Lightweights drop close 1 

Team battles back, but falls 12-6

Text by Ed Muniz
Photos by Renee Kaspar
TINLEY PARK -- Week seven saw the Orland Park Pioneers visiting the Frankfort Wildcats. A full 4-game schedule was set where teams at the Varsity, Junior Varsity, Lightweight and Super Lightweight levels would all take the field.
For coach Todd Shelton and his Super Lightweight players, a return to their winning ways was planned after struggling the previous week in a loss that ended a three-game winning streak.
Unfortunately, the difficulties that plagued the Pioneers a week prior continued and would end up giving the Pioneers their second-consecutive loss when they fell to the Wildcats 12-6.
The Pioneers (3-3-0) opened the game on defense and saw themselves give up a big run. But while back on their heels, the Pioneers got an early break when Will Slechta came up with a fumble to suddenly stop the Wildcats efforts.
In their previous loss the Pioneers struggled to run the ball, something that they had thrived at during their winning streak. In this game, the Pioneers tried to establish the run and get back to what they had done so well.
Now on offense, the Pioneers went on an 8-play drive and closed out the first quarter behind the running of Luke Detampel, Jeff Bellik, Terrell Patterson and Luke Basiorka.
Everything was working well. The offense started at its own 27 and drove to the Wildcats 37-yard line. On fourth down and needing a few yards to continue, a lateral got botched causing a fumble which stalled the drive and ended what looked like a promising start for the Pioneers.
Back on defense, the Pioneers held steadfast and allowed the Wildcats minimal yards. Joey Epley, Bellik, and Keegan Kirk came away with tackles, but none were more important than the hit Jordan Masino gave on fourth down that kept the Wildcats scoreless.
The third time the Pioneers went on offense, things bogged down quickly with a three-and-out and punt forced by an aggressive host defense. A good punt return now had the Wildcats just 12 yards from the endzone with less than a minute left in the half.
Two plays later, the Wildcats would go around their left end to open the scoring with just 43 seconds left before the break. A missed extra-point held the score at 6-0 at half.
Running back Luke Basiorka pushes off a Wildcat defender for a big gain.
Trailing to open the second half, the Pioneers knew they needed to find a way to get on the scoreboard. After the kick return had the Pioneers stationed at the Wildcats 36-yard line, Bellik started the Pioneers in the right direction with consecutive runs of 5 and 9 yards. They were followed by carries from Detampel and Patterson that put the Pioneers at the Wildcats 24. 
On the next play, quarterback Detampel called his own number and slashed past the right-end and ran down the sideline for the Pioneers touchdown. The missed point-after left the game even at 6-6.
The lead didn’t last long. The hosts answered quickly right before the end of the third quarter, taking only three plays. Orland Park was caught still celebrating their score and gave up a big play that saw the Wildcats quickly drive to the Pioneers 1-yard line. From there a quarterback keeper put the Wildcats ahead for good.
Trailing 12-6 and now in the final quarter, the Pioneers just couldn’t get the breaks. A self-inflicted error stopped one drive when they coughed up the ball, and it was recovered by the Wildcats.
Now inside 4 minutes left in the game, Frankfprt Square tried to run out the clock with a ground attack that grabbed small yards at a time. With just two and half minutes left, Quinn Durkin gave the Pioneers one last chance at evening the game after he recovered a Wildcats fumble.
The Pioneers knew they had a long way to go from their own 19. Behind the running of Detampel and Bellik, the Pioneers quickly got to the Wildcat 29-yard line, but with time about to expire, the Pioneers just couldn’t complete a pass to the endzone. Time ran out and the Super Lightweights had suffered their third loss of the season.
For quarterback Luke Detampel, much of the offense fell on him. He was the go-to guy as the game came down to the final drive.
“I felt good and like that they let me run with the ball,” he said. “They had a good linebacker that made it hard. I think our penalties made it hard to win and when we go on two don’t jump off like we did today a lot.”
Pioneers runner Luke Detampel (24) follows teammate Jeff Bellik (36) around the right side.
For coach Shelton, just getting back to competing was what he wanted from his team.
“I thought we were ready. We have one of the youngest teams in the league, and it’s up to the coaches to get us ready. We need to work on going on two, but they (Wildcats) did a great job on us. We got in scoring range. We just have to find a way to get in. We will work at it a little bit more.”
The Pioneers received contributions from: Caden Nestor, Kaden Kramer, Colm Coyle, Jack Enright, Devin Stefanos, Anthony Molina, Mason Vahl, Jake Buechele, Jake Drew, Nick Slechta, Anthony Kazaitis, Braden Czerniuk, Aiden Evans, Jordan Masino, Aiden Patterson, Brandon Dion, Thomas Elliott, Lukas Boyce and James McCormick.
Cheering on the Super Lightweights and keeping the fans entertained were: Vanessa Annel, Ava Bernardi, Ava Brennen, Sydney Czerniak, Sophia Dornbos, Ashley Fahey, Ella Groark, Mia Hilbruger, Keira Kehlert, Alexandra Keysboe, Emma Kusper, Lily Masino, Ryligh Maugeri, Cassidy McKibben, Kaelyn Morales, Addy Moran, Natalie Oprondek, Kaelyn Ponce, Makenzie Prah, Emily Sayger, Natalie Schmidt, Brianna Sievers, Aileen Tunney, Heidi Wagner.
Today's Schedule: Season Schedule