Playoff stakes, ecstatic crowds, vaccine incentives, and mushrooms and wooden shoes help electrify district rivalry

LANSING, Ill. (October 8, 2021) – The district rivalry between the TF South and TF North football programs again favored the south-siders this year as TFS beat the Meteors 42-8, securing TF South a playoff bid, bragging rights, and the Mushroom-Wooden Shoe Trophy.

The Friday night game took place under the lights at TF North, as hundreds gathered from each school to cheer on their respective squads.

The District 215 student representation at the game was especially impressive, perhaps due to the incentives provided by the district to get vaccinated against COVID-19, which include free admission at sports games. The public could receive a COVID-19 shot in the TF North cafeteria during Friday night’s game.

TF South football
District 215 representatives were present outside the COVID-19 vaccination clinic at Friday night’s football game. (Photo: Josh Bootsma)

First half

TF South drew first blood in the game on a 63-yard touchdown reception from Senior quarterback Jacob Urdiales to sophomore Charles Miles. The two-point conversion failed, making the first quarter’s score 6-0.

TF South football
Charles Miles prepares for a snap in Friday’s game. The sophomore was the first to score a touchdown in the contest. (Photo: Josh Bootsma)

Senior Ernest Temple wasn’t long in scoring Friday night, as he ran the ball for 30 yards with 9:50 remaining in the second quarter. After a successful two-point conversion, the score was 14-0 going into halftime.

TF South
Junior Jabarrie Gatewood takes a breath between plays. (Photo: Josh Bootsma)
The TF North marching band took to center field during halftime of the contest. (Photo: Josh Bootsma)

Second half

Temple struck again in the third quarter with a 15-yard touchdown run, increasing TFS’ lead to 21-0 after a successful PAT from senior Ivan Villalobos.

TF North made its only score in the game in the third quarter on a five yard run and a two-point conversion.

With 31 seconds remaining in the third quarter, Temple again found himself in the end zone following a 39-yard reception from Urdiales. The score was 28-8.

Senior Ernest Temple makes his move on a defender. The play ended with Temple scoring a touchdown. (Photo: Josh Bootsma)

After TF North fumbled a kick-off return in the fourth quarter and TF South recovered the ball, the south-siders marched down the field and ended their campaign with a 10-yard touchdown catch from Urdiales to junior Jerrell Madison.

Senior quarterback Jacob Urdiales heaves a pass to junior Brandon Woods for a long completion. (Photo: Josh Bootsma)

Madison struck again with 3:14 left in the game, electrifying the TFS crowd one more time with a 57-yard run into the end zone. A pure boot from Villalobos resulted in the final score: 42-8 favoring TF South.

TF South
TF South lines up against TF North in the fourth quarter of Friday’s game. (Photo: Josh Bootsma)

Standouts and stats in the Mushroom-Wooden Shoe game

TF South threw for 135 yards Friday night — all from the arm of Urdiales, who went 5/12 on the night. TFS gathered 186 rushing yards, with Temple the leader at 137. Miles was the leading receiver with 63 yards.

Sophomore Charles Miles of TF South nearly hauls in a long throw from Urdiales. Miles was the leading receiver on Friday. (Photo: Josh Bootsma)

Coach Bob Padjen singled out defensive tackles Toules Gosa-Polk and Evin Ovie for their hard work and effective defense during the game. Padjen also mentioned that every player got a chance to play in Friday’s game.

The victory earned TF South another year hosting the The Mushroom-Wooden Shoe Trophy, the traditional token of the cross-district rivalry that has been passed between the two schools for over 60 years. The mushroom on the trophy is meant to represent the Polish history of Calumet City and the wooden shoe symbolizes the Dutch roots of Lansing.

The Mushroom-Wooden Shoe Trophy will stay with TF South this year. (Photo: Josh Bootsma)

Playoff picture for TF South football

With the win, TF South is now 6-1 on the season, and has secured a playoff berth.

TFS Head Coach Bob Padjen directs his players from the sideline Friday night. (Photo: Josh Bootsma)

“One of the goals is to make it into the playoffs, and one of the goals is to win our conference,” Padjen said. “So next week, we get to go for the second goal against Lemont.”

Lemont High School is next on the schedule for TFS, a game that will certainly prove difficult, as Lemont is undefeated on the season, and has beaten its last four opponents by 39 points or more. TF South lost to Lemont 49-14 in last school year’s spring season.

“They could be in our division in the playoffs. We’re treating [next Friday’s game] as a playoff game,” Padjen said.

Next Friday’s matchup is at 7 p.m. at Lemont High School. TF South is located at 18500 Burnham Avenue in Lansing.

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