Friday, November 2, 2012

Joey Rhattigan ran for...

...344 yards and scored five touchdowns last night as Neuqua Valley upset defending 8A champion Bolingbrook, 44-33. (The picture above tells the whole story: the senior running back was carrying several Raiders on his back all night.)

Rhattigan is without a doubt the best running back I've seen all year (and I've seen twelve games so far). I can't remember an individual dominating a game like this since, well, Tom Fuessel did against these same Raiders in Week Six. (In hindsight, that should have been foreshadowing.)

What about quarterback Aaron Bailey and running back Omar Stover? Were they at full strength last night? A guy in the stands next to me indicated otherwise. But, really, it didn't matter. Bailey ran for over 200 yards and three touchdowns. He looked just fine to me.

No, the problem last night was the Raider defense. You can't give up 44 points and expect to win the game. (I saw the defending champs only twice this year and they surrendered a total of 86 points.) And, as impressive as Rhattigan was, if you can't stop a one-dimensional attack like that you've got bigger issues.

But Coach John Ivlow will have the entire off-season to work on that. In the meantime, I'll really miss watching Bailey play. Last night was his last in a Raider uniform and I felt kind of bad walking back to my car. (I know what you're thinking: Jeez Louise! Get a life, will you?) But last year was a great season and Bailey was really fun to watch. Oh well, maybe he'll have a big career with the Illini.

But today, it's on to Oak Park River Forest to see the Huskies take on Waubonsie Valley (the winner of which will face Neuqua next week) and Lincoln-Way East to see the Griffins host Providence. I can't wait!

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