LANSING, Ill. (August 31, 2023) – TF South football came into this season looking to flip the script after finishing 3-6 and missing the IHSA playoffs last season.
But the Red Wolves couldn’t overcome their own mistakes and Hammond Central’s dynamic skill players on Saturday night, losing 33-6 on the road in their season opener.
As expected, Christian Streeter provided most of the highlights for South. The junior running back finished with 17 carries for 127 yards, a 7.5 average. That included an 11-yard TD run to account for the Red Wolves’ scoring.
Seneca Smith added 48 yards on nine rushes and Jamari Crawford had 17 yards on two carries as South ran for 172 yards total. The Red Wolves were held to 39 yards passing.
Defensive leaders included Camarrion Cooper with seven tackles, including two for losses. Smith and Dylan Oliphant both added five tackles, and Dennis Hoskin had an interception.
South, which fell behind 19-0, lost senior linebacker Andy Ochiabutor with an apparent leg injury and was missing senior tight end/defensive tackle Karrel Harvest because of a family commitment.
The game had originally been scheduled for Friday, was moved to Thursday because of an officials shortage, and bumped again to Saturday because of excessive heat earlier in the week.
“So we were a little short-handed,” South coach Bob Padjen said. “We played well in the beginning but just made stupid mistakes. A lot of the penalties killed us. And kickoff returns killed us and dug us a hole we couldn’t get out of.”
Down 19-6 in the third quarter, the Red Wolves were driving and seemed on the verge of pulling within one score. But nothing came of that drive and Hammond Central added two late scores to seal the win. Dashawn Woods led a productive ground game for Hammond Central and gave the Red Wolves fits all night.
“We whiffed on a lot of tackles,” Padjen said. “We’ll take a look at the tape and see how we can get better.”
Up next for the Red Wolves is the second of four straight road games to open the season, Friday at Lane Tech, Kickoff is 7 p.m.
Boys cross country
Seven of South’s 11 runners who competed in Tuesday’s season-opening triangular at Erfert Park were making their high-school cross country debuts.
Two of them, seniors Jesse Terrazas and Antoine Morgan, finished eighth and ninth in 20:29 and 20:30 for three miles to help South finish second with 54 points. Oak Forest won with a perfect score of 15 and Evergreen Park (65) was third.
Other scores for the Red Wolves were Rodrogo Cortez (10th, 20:51), Brandon Chavez (11th, 20:55), and Ben Gresham (16th, 21:31).
Up next for the Red Wolves is the 51st Rich Dust Invitational on Saturday at North Creek Meadow. TF North and Marian Catholic also are in the 22-school field. Races begin at 9 a.m.
The Red Wolves won their home opener 25-15, 25-15 over Crete-Monee on Tuesday. Yulissa Macudzinski served 30 points for South, while Raquel Murphy contributed five kills and four blocks.
A doubles sweep helped propel TF South to a 4-1 South Suburban Blue win over Tinley Park on Tuesday.
Winning in straight sets for the Red Wolves in doubles were Mariah Smith and Rere Sonoiki at No. 1, Kaylyn Imala and Elizabeth Alvarez at No. 2, and Azuri Akbar and Emily Cabrera at No. 3.
Esmeralda Spencer also won in straight sets at No. 2 singles.
The Red Wolves dropped to 0-4 with a 195-214 loss to Tinley Park on Tuesday at Centennial Park in Munster.
Ryan Marnell had a birdie and two pars for TF South en route to shooting a 12-over 48. Sophomore Anthony Gianoli, who had a birdie and a par, also shot 48. Andrew Danehl (58) and Jacob Lindsey (60) rounded out the Red Wolves’ scoring.
South finished 16th in Crete-Monee’s Warrior Shootout on Friday, shooting 428. Danehl led the Red Wolves with a 104, Marnell and Gianoli each shot 106, and Lindsey had a 112.
The Red Wolves lost 192-204 to Argo at Centennial Park on Aug. 22.
Gianoli led South with a 47, followed by Marnell (48, one birdie), Danehl (52) and Lindsey (57).
The Red Wolves finished third in a triangular with Lemont (272) and Oak Lawn (111) on Tuesday, scoring 68 points.
Anthony Pignatiello’s debut as head coach at his alma mater was a major success as North rolled to a 40-8 victory over host Proviso West on Friday.
The highlight of the win was Keashawn Davis’ 102-yard interception return for a touchdown in the fourth quarter.
Dominic Gradford and Tristan Jackson each had a pair of touchdowns to lead the Meteors’ offense, while Joseph Merritt broke off a 74-yard TD run.
North goes back on the road in Week 2 with a 6 p.m. Friday kickoff at Thornton.
TF United (TF South/TF North co-op)
Angel Saenz had a hat trick plus three assists as United breezed to an 8-0 shutout of Hammond Academy on Monday.
Angel Delgado added two goals, while Moises Mata, Ezrah Gonzalez and Giovanni Melgoza scored one each. Also contributing for United (2-2) were Danny Gonzalez with two assists and Dimitri Kouemo, Kevin Paulino and Kelechi Mbah with one assist apiece.
In the Bloom Tournament, United lost 2-0 to Thornton on Saturday and fell 2-1 to Lincoln-Way West on Friday. Melgoza scored United’s goal against Lincoln-Way West. Donovan Rivera had an assist, while Oswaldo Mendoza and Edgar Rodriguez each had two saves.
United opened its season with a 3-1 win against Homewood-Flossmoor on August 22 as Kouemo had two goals and an assist.
Melgoza also scored, Terrazas and Omar Reyes each had an assist, Mendoza had three saves, and Rodriguez contributed two saves.
Marian’s defense posted its first shutout in 33 games, beating Rich 49-0 Friday night in Chicago Heights. The Spartans held the Raptors to five first downs and 51 total yards.
Tyler Lofton and Moe Davis each scored twice for the Spartans. Lofton had TD runs of 2 and 25 yards, finishing with 17 carries for 152 yards. Davis caught a 19-yard TD pass from Carter Magerski and had an 80-yard touchdown run. He finished with 125 total yards. Magerski (9-of-12 passing, 127 yards) also threw a 40-yard TD pass to Paul Frazer.
Kansas commit Austin Alexander ran a punt back 69 yards and Joey Baranski ran 2 yards for Marian’s other scores.
The Spartans travel to Homewood-Flossmoor on Saturday. Kickoff is scheduled for 1 p.m.
The Spartans dropped to 1-7 with a 25-16, 25-20 loss to St. Ignatius on Tuesday. Kaitlyn Nicholas had 12 assists for Marian, Carrington Smith contributed seven kills, Mariana Rivero added three blocks, and Olivia Helfen had nine digs.
Marian fell in three sets to Homewood-Flossmoor on Thursday. Smith had 15 blocks, Nicholas chipped in with 24 assists, Helfen had 10 kills and Sarah Gordon added six digs.
The Spartans dropped their home opener 25-9, 25-21 to Downers Grove North on August 22. Gordon had eight digs, Helfen added four kills and Smith had four blocks.
The Spartans beat TF South 4-1 on Friday, getting straight-sets singles wins from Athena Jaculbe at No, 1 and Morgan Bolton at No. 2. Marian also had straight-sets doubles victories from Shelah Boyd and Mikyah Ward at No. 2 and Lauren Kyle and Lailani Allison at No. 3.
South’s Mariah Smith and Rere Sonoiki won in straight sets at No. 1 doubles.
Boys cross country
Marian lost 20-52 to visiting St. Laurence on the Spartans’ 3.1-mile on-campus course on Tuesday. Daniel Kasperan led Marian with a runner-up finish in 16:38. Other scorers for the Spartans were Jayden Downs (sixth, 20:15), Isaiah Gaither (13th, 23:26), Jeremiah Bolar (14th, 23:35) and Jonah Greenwood (17th, 25:01).
Girls cross country
Lydia Casillas, who took third in 22:43 for 3.01 miles, was the lone finisher for host Marian in a 15-50 loss to St. Laurence on Tuesday.