Monday, November 25, 2013

Looks like I saved the best game...

...for last. (Although I can't remember being so uncomfortable.)

I knew it would be cold this weekend but didn't count on the wind. And even though the temperature got up into the mid-20s on Saturday afternoon, I'm sure with the wind chill factor it was in the teens or even lower. At least it felt that way to me. (At one point I even considered leaving; can you imagine?) But ... it was worth it. The Loyola - Stevenson game was probably the best one I saw all year. (And that includes two overtime games.)

In case you don't have the Internet (and I don't know how you would be reading this otherwise), the Ramblers came back and scored with about a minute remaining in the game. Rather than tie it at 14, Loyola coach John Holecek elected to go for two. Quarterback Jack Penn then found Joe Joyce in the end zone to win the game, 15-14.

It was my 26th game of the year and the third time I'd seen Loyola (fourth if you count watching them on TV against St. Rita). And even though I saw the Ramblers beat Providence and Mount Carmel, I gained a newfound respect for them this weekend. Not only did they gamble and win the game in the final minute, but the Wilmette squad also held Stevenson on a goal-line stand in the third quarter and converted on a fake punt from the end zone on the ensuing possession. These guys have a lot of guts!

And that's not to take anything away from Stevenson, either. Here's a team that lost its first two games of the season before winning ten in a row. And in the two times I saw the Patriots this year, they came from behind against two of the best teams in the state, Glenbard North and now Loyola.

Both teams showed a lot of heart.

Which is more than I can say for myself. After sitting out in the bleachers in Lincolnshire for three hours (I arrived at noon), I just couldn't bring myself to drive out to Naperville Central for the nightcap with Marist. The forecast for game time was something like 19 degrees and with the wind chill, well, let's just say it must have been brutal. I ended up following @ejcrotty on Twitter instead. (It was a good move.)

So how did my predictions for the weekend work out? -1, which brings me to -7 for the entire postseason. Is that good or bad? I don't know, but I have a secret plan for vaulting into positive territory this week.

Here are my results for the semifinals:


Stevenson over Loyola -1
Naperville Central over Marist 0


Glenbard West over Lake Zurich -1
Mount Carmel over Edwardsville +1


Batavia over Rockford Boylan +1
Richards over East St. Louis 0


Montini over Sycamore 0
Washington over Sacred Heart-Griffin -1

Tomorrow: A look at the 5A championship.

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