Week 5: Homewood-Flossmoor Vikings vs. Bolingbrook Raiders
BOLINGBROOK – If any team in the state is complaining about a tough schedule through the first five weeks of the season, Homewood-Flossmoor coach Craig Buzea would like to talk to them.
After a solid 35-27 win over Stevenson in Week 2 and a tough loss to 2011 Class 7A runner-up Lincoln-Way East last week, the Vikings travel to face the toughest team of them all on Friday.
Defending Class 8A state champion Bolingbrook welcomes H-F to town Friday in a Southwest Suburban Blue showdown that will be shown on CN100, The Comcast Network, at Noon and 4 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 22, and 7 p.m. on Monday, Sept. 24. You can also find the game throughout Chicagoland with Xfinity On Demand.
“Our schedule’s been tough, but hopefully it gets us ready for the postseason,” Buzea said. “(Bolingbrook) is the best Illinois had to offer last year, and they’re as good as advertised this year. Superman (Illinois recruit Aaron Bailey) takes the snap every down, but he’s not the only guy to worry about. Their defense had to be rebuilt, but they’re every bit as capable as last year.”
Bolingbrook has yet to be tested in four easy wins this season. The Raiders have allowed a grand total of 22 points while never scoring less than 33 in a game. Bailey has barely had to pass yet this season, but he has thrown for over 200 yards and run for over 400 yards. He gets help offensively from running backs Omar Stover and Jaden Huff. Junior defensive back Parrker Westphal is one of the best in the state.
“They haven’t even taken a shotgun snap yet,” said Buzea of one of Bolingbrook’s offensive staples last season. “They’re a very difficult team to prepare for. We’re aware (that they haven’t shown much of their full offensive package), but we can’t chase ghosts. We have to prepare for what we see. I know they haven’t been tested, but we’re hoping we can give them a test Friday.”
H-F has a new quarterback this season in Ronald Johnson, and he has done quite well thus far with 589 passing yards and has 10 total touchdowns. Tailback Taje Smith has run for over 100 yards three times and 463 total with four scores. Tight end Patrick Sheehan has been Johnson’s main target in the passing game, but Vashon Nutt has made some big plays, as well. Keith Carter, Damon Davies and Patrick Johnson key an athletic defense for the Vikings.
“(Ronald Johnson) has done a nice job for us,” Buzea said. “He gives us a little more speed than we had (with former star quarterback Tim Williams), more of a dual threat. He’s been accurate. He’s dispersed the ball among four receivers. I think he’s done a great job.”
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- Paul Johnson, CN100 Correspondent
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