LANSING, Ill. (September 29, 2023) – Nothing has been easy for TF South football this fall.
The Red Wolves have been working a number of first-year varsity players into the mix and haven’t played a home game as their field is being renovated.
Their home opener was delayed for a second time this week and now is scheduled for October 13 vs. Oak Forest. The October 6 game vs. Hillcrest, originally scheduled to be played at South, now will be played at TF North with a 6 p.m. kickoff.
But there have been steady signs of progress for the Red Wolves and on September 21, South earned its first win of the season, 19-14 at Bremen.
Senior Seneca Smith led the way, playing almost every snap on offense, defense and special teams. The running back/linebacker rushed for 155 yards and two touchdowns, and had a team-high 10 tackles with one tackle for loss.
The Red Wolves (1-4, 1-2 South Suburban Blue) kept their IHSA playoff hopes alive while posting season-bests for points scored and points allowed.
“It feels great,” Smith said. “Just coming out every day, working hard. Finally got the dub (win).”
The Red Wolves have scored 33 points in their last two games after managing just nine in their first three.
“Just execution,” Smith said. “Guys blocking, executing the plays.”
Smith scored on runs of 9 yards in the second quarter and 1 yard in the third period. In between was junior quarterback Nick Ford’s first touchdown pass of the season, a 19-yarder to Christian Streeter with 11 seconds left in the first half.
The win “means a lot,” Ford said. “They’re my brothers and we (are) family. (Starting) 0-4 it hurt but we came out and got a win. We said, ‘We’ve got to go 5-0 if we want to go to the playoffs.'”
Streeter split quarterback duties with Ford and finished with 79 yards on six carries. Cleaning up mistakes was key, he said.
“Stop the penalties, moving the ball,” Streeter said. “No negativity, none of that.”
Among the other contributors on defense were Karrel Harvest (nine tackles, three tackles for loss, one sack), Diar Fleming (seven tackles, one tackle for loss, one sack) and Tailen Gosa (six tackles, three tackles for loss). Dylan Oliphant and Zyon Boateng each recovered fumbles.
“We talked to the defense,” South coach Bob Padjen said. “We had to get more turnovers; we haven’t gotten any in the last two weeks. Our kicking game, Edwin Rodriguez on the one punt — oh man, he blasted that one and kept them deep in their zone. And the offense just churned out the clock.”
The Red Wolves play a September 29 conference game at Tinley Park. Kickoff is scheduled for 7 p.m.
Two Red Wolves qualified for next Monday’s Class 3A Pekin Sectional out of Wednesday’s Homewood-Flossmoor Regional at Ravisloe in Homewood.
Ryan Marnell shot a 99 with two pars for TF South, while Anthony Gianoli had a 101 with two pars. The Red Wolves finished fifth among eight full teams with a 407. Other scorers for the Red Wolves were Andrew Danehl (103, one par) and Jacob Lindsey (104).
Boys cross country
The Red Wolves finished 10th among 17 teams in their division at Saturday’s Tinley Park Invitational.
Scorers for the Red Wolves were Antoine Morgan (70th, 19:59), Jesse Terrazas (73rd, 20:04), Brandon Chavez (75th, 20:41), Ben Gresham (77th, 20:54), and Rodrigo Cortez (85th, 21:33).
The Red Wolves lost 5-0 to South Suburban Blue rival Lemont on Wednesday.
South fell 3-2 to Richards in a South Suburban crossover on Tuesday. Earning singles wins for the Red Wolves were Rere Sonoiki at No. 1 and Azuri Akbar at No. 2.
South defeated Crete-Monee 4-1 on Monday, sweeping the doubles.
Kaylyn Imala won at No. 1 singles for the Red Wolves, who had straight-sets doubles wins from Akbar/Sonoiki at No. 1, Emily Cabrera/Angela Mendez at No. 2 and Deisy Salto/Esmeralda Spencer at No. 3.
The Red Wolves lost 25-15, 25-13 to Lemont in South Suburban Blue action on Sept. 21.
The Meteors continued their turnaround season, shutting out Tinley Park 21-0 in their homecoming game last Friday to become IHSA playoff-eligible.
North coach Anthony Pignatiello cited the strong play of defensive linemen Carlos Roa, Jordan Petty, Aramis Stewart, Tremaine Floyd, Damari Dogan, Chuck King, Alvin Lankin, Montrell Monroe and Zion Blanton.
Deshawn Jones and Dominic Gradford had interceptions for the Meteors (5-0, 2-0 South Suburban Blue).
Gradford threw a touchdown pass to Terrion Long, who also scored another TD. North plays at Bremen on Friday, September 29. Kickoff is scheduled for 6 p.m.
The Meteors lost 5-0 to Shepard in a South Suburban crossover on Tuesday.
North fell 4-1 to Chicago Christian on Monday, with Precious Agwu and Alex Thomas picking up their ninth win of the season at No. 1 doubles.
North defeated Hillcrest 3-2 in South Suburban Blue action on Sept. 20, sweeping the doubles matches. Agwu and Thomas won at No. 1, Alexa Cervantes and Favor Babatunde won at No. 2 and Melany Espinoza and Shannon Fulson won at No. 3.
TF United (TF South/TF North co-op)
United stayed perfect in South Suburban Blue play, blanking Tinley Park 9-0 on Tuesday,
Omar Reyes, Oswaldo Tovar, Avery Flores, and Giovanni Melgoza all had two goals for United (12-2-2, 6-0-2). Danny Gonzalez had one goal, while Melgoza, Diego Contreras, Angel Saenz, Kevin Paulino, Dimitri Kouemo, Donovan Rivera, and Kalichi Mbah all had one assist.
United won its bracket at the BodyArmor Sports Series, going 3-0 with victories over Rockford Jefferson (5-2), Marist (3-0), and Plainfield Central (2-1).
Melgoza scored on a penalty kick and assisted on Saenz’s game-winning goal vs. Plainfield Central. Goalkeeper Oswaldo Mendoza had four saves.
The event also included a community-service component as every team involved collected coats to donate to charity.
United shut out Richards 6-0 in a South Suburban crossover on Saturday morning.
Scoring goals were Mbah, Tovar, Kouemo, Joaquin Terrazas, Angel Delgado and Elkan Ochir. Melgoza had two assists, while Delgado, Ochir and Mbah had one each. Mendoza had two saves.
United beat Oak Lawn 3-1 on Sept. 21 as Gonzalez scored twice and Melgoza had one goal. Koeumo had two assists, Saenz added one assist and Mendoza had two saves.
United fell 100-44 to Richards on Tuesday despite wins from Aaluyah Harb (200 individual medley) and Appolonia Villalpando (100 freestyle).
The Vikings clinched the Greater South Shore Conference title by beating Bishop Noll 3-1 on Tuesday.
Chase Poortinga, Noah Sons, and Nolan Flipse had goals for Illiana (11-4-1 overall), while Zander Weemhoff contributed an assist. Eman Calix had two saves.
Illiana lost 3-0 to Crown Point on Monday. Calix stopped four shots in goal.
The Vikings blanked Griffith 9-0 on September 21.
Flipse, Weemhoff, and Michael Zylstra all scored twice, while Divine Olikagu, Noah Davids and Henry Lenehan each had one goal. Lucas Terpstra had two assists, while Oligaku, Zylstra, Davids, Flipse, Josh Carter and Eli DeGraff added one assist each.
Illiana (6-6-1) won on penalty kicks after playing Bishop Noll to a 0-0 draw on Saturday.
The Vikings beat Griffith 9-2 on Sept. 21 as Sam Bultema scored a hat trick.
Audra Davids added two goals, while Rachel Albert, Alex Cruz, Evelyn Julian and Ashlee Vandermeer all had one goal.
The Vikings opened play in the Munster Sectional with a 5-0 shutout of Calumet on Wednesday.
Illiana fell 3-2 to Andrean on September 20.
Winning in straight sets were Hunter DeYoung and Chase Lindemulder at No. 1 doubles and Tyler Groenewold and Brandon DeYoung at No. 2 doubles.
The Spartans opened a 20-7 lead midway through the second quarter before Montini rallied for a 35-26 CCL/ESCC crossover win Friday night in Chicago Heights.
Tyler Lofton ran 23 times for 116 yards and four touchdowns for Marian (2-3). Carter Magerski was 20-of-32 passing for 244 yards with two interceptions and Paul Frazier had six catches for 116 yards.
The Spartans host DePaul Prep in CCL/ESCC Red action on Friday. Kickoff is set for 7:30 p.m.
Three Spartans qualified as individuals for Monday’s Class 2A Lemont Sectional out of Wednesday’s St. Rita Regional at Idlewild in Flossmoor.
Advancing were Jack Markos (fifth, 81), Peyton Stoffregen (tied for 24th, 90), and Jorden Connor (27th, 93). Alex Kvasnicka (95) completed the scoring for Marian, which finished fifth in the team standings at 359.
Michelle Charles had five kills and six digs for the Spartans in a 25-12, 25-16 East Suburban Catholic loss to Benet on Tuesday. Sarah Gordon added seven digs and Kaitlyn Nichols contributed seven assists for Marian (8-14, 2-2).
- Meteors football continues undefeated season under first-year coach – other local scores (September 22, 2023)
- Athlete spotlights of the week: TFN’s Dominic Gradford, Illiana’s Avery Olthof (September 23, 2023)