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High School Football: Rolling Lockport blanks Sandburg

By Randy Whalen
Correspondent

Turning a program around doesn’t happen overnight. There are usually some bumps along the way.

Sandburg football coach Troy McAllister knows that. He turned Phillips of the Chicago Public League into a two-time state champion. But in his first season there in 2010, the Wildcats finished 2-7.

The Eagles have four more tries to surpass that win total in McAllister’s first year in Orland Park. They entered this week with one victory after a 42-0 setback to Lockport in a SouthWest Suburban Blue battle on Sept. 24.

But despite the fourth setback in five games for the Eagles (1-4, 0-2) there is no pity party.

“I believe in us,” Sandburg senior defensive lineman Nate Gibbons said. “We have the team, we have the guys.”

If the Eagles want to see how fast a program can turn around, all they have to do is look at the Porters. The Porters were 0-9 in 2018. This season, they are 5-0 and have outscored their opponents 196-7.

“Lockport is big and physical up front, and we had a lot of matchup problems that were exposed by them,” McAllister said. “Our defense has been awesome all year long but we were flat tonight. We needed the offense to chip in and we couldn’t make enough plays.”

Lockport’s Hayden Timosciek fired four touchdown passes and threw for a season-high 309 yards as the Porters scored early and often. The first of his scoring passes was a 21-yard strike to fellow senior Keegan Roberson 2:40 into the game.

The Porters went 66 yards in five plays on their next drive, which was capped by a 2-yard TD burst from senior Ty Schultz for a 13-0 lead with 5:46 left in the first quarter.

A second straight three-and-out forced the Eagles to punt, and the Porters’ Ethan Gallagher swooped in and blocked the kick, sending the ball back toward the end zone. Lockport senior Danny Martisek fell on it for a touchdown with 5:18 to play in the first quarter.

Lockport led 33-0 after one quarter.

After a safety gave the Porters a 35-0 lead minutes into the second quarter, Lockport fumbled the ensuing free kick. However, an incomplete pass, 6-yard loss and sack forced Sandburg to punt.

“We’ve got to just have more patience,” said senior running back Jake Maziarka. “We have to play with pride. We have to keep grinding, keep plugging away and everything will get better.”

Sandburg had a first-and-goal at the Porter three in the opening minutes of the fourth quarter, but fumbled.

“This was tough on us seniors for Homecoming but I’ll remember the atmosphere of being back,” Gibbons said. “I’m looking to the future, to college, but I still believe in our team. It’s all positive. I believe in my brothers.”

Evans was 13-of-30 with a pair of interceptions for 122 yards for the Eagles, who finished with 160 total yards, 110 of those in the second half.

After a 12-0 victory over District 230 rival Andrew two weeks ago and limiting a powerful Bolingbrook team to 24 points in a 24-6 loss the previous week, the Eagles were feeling better.

“Every week we get in and prepare and we’ve been going in well prepared,” McAllister said. “This was a setback, but we have a great group of young men and will get better.”

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