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Whiting rallies to top South Central

Whiting's Keegan Rooke catches pass 1 yard line running for touchdown Whiting High School Friday September 13 2013. | Jim

Whiting's Keegan Rooke catches a pass at the 1 yard line running in for a touchdown at Whiting High School on Friday September 13, 2013. | Jim Karczewski\Sun-Times Media

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Updated: October 15, 2013 7:32AM



WHITING — In the end, the scoreboard was in Whiting’s favor, and that was enough for Oilers head coach Jeff Cain. But during the four quarters that played out at Ray P. Gallivan Stadium on Friday night, that type of outcome was frequently in doubt.

The Oilers scored three straight touchdowns to rally from an early two-score deficit, knocking off GSSC rival South Central 20-14.

“Games like this make us better in the long run,” said Cain. “I told them at halftime: don’t be afraid to make plays. Some of our guys are starting to believe that.”

Trailing 14-0 late in the second quarter, the Oilers (4-0, 2-0 GSSC) got on the board on a 20-yard TD pass from AJ Veloz to Keegan Rooke. A failed extra point made the halftime score 14-6 in favor of South Central (0-4, 0-2 GSSC).

After two failed red zone chances in the third, Whiting finally narrowed the gap on an 8-yard touchdown run by Ethan Young.

“We really needed Ethan to run the ball tonight,” Cain said of his junior running back, who had 118 yards on 29 carries. “We were a bit off in the passing game, but you’re going to have nights like that.”

A failed two-point conversion kept South Central ahead 14-12 with 8:00 remaining. Then, a 35-yard run by Seth Carlson moved the Satellites deep into Whiting territory. But on the next play, a Kyle Sturdy fumble was recovered by the Oilers.

“We made a couple too many mistakes,” said South Central head coach Dan Klimczak. “They just made one more play than we did.”

Whiting moved 79 yards on its next 11 plays, with another Young scoring run — this one from 11 yards out — providing the game-winning points.

South Central’s early 14-0 lead could have been larger, if not for two failed drives that started deep in Whiting territory.

But late in the first quarter, the Satellites started scoring, largely due to Robert Miller.

First, the senior returned a punt to the Whiting 9-yard line, setting up South Central’s first score. On Whiting’s next possession, Miller picked off a Veloz pass, returning it 59 yards to the Whiting 17. On fourth down, Miller found enough space in the end zone to haul in a 14-yard touchdown pass, giving the Satellites a two-score lead.

But the Oilers’ comeback began on the ensuing possession.



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