Football: Ramone Atkins, West Side air it out over Highland
By KEVIN O’KEEFE Post-Tribune correspondent August 16, 2013 11:22PM
West Side's Lonnie Johnson catches a pass by QB Ramone Atkins for a touch down in the end zone at Highland High School on Friday August 16, 2013. | Jim Karczewski/For Sun-Times Media
Updated: September 18, 2013 6:13AM
HIGHLAND — West Side coach Jason Johnson has the state’s No. 1 passer from last year in Ramone Atkins and the No. 4 receiver in the state in Lonnie Johnson at his disposal. He took full advantage in the Cougars’ scrimmage Friday night at Highland.
Atkins hooked up twice with Jon Vea’ Johnson and once each with running back William Wadley and receiver Lonnie Johnson as the Cougars outscored the Trojans eight touchdowns to three.
Junior receiver Christian Jacobs, who is listed at 6-foot-6, 200 pounds, caught the final touchdown pass of the night from 40 yards out from Armon Sanders.
“Our program is definitely growing and gaining momentum,” Jason Johnson said. “We have four of our five offensive line starters back from last year and 56 players on our roster. Our offensive line and how we tackle the football will really determine how successful we are this year.”
The Trojans found the end zone twice in their first segment of 15 plays from their own 35 as sophomore quarterback Hunter Rycerz took what looked like a busted play in from 3 yards out. Matt Holl turned the last Trojans play from scrimmage into a 60-yard touchdown run as he cut back and outraced the Cougars defenders to the end zone. Thirteen of the Trojans’ 15 plays were on the ground. The Cougars wasted no time getting on the board as Atkins found Jon Vea’ Johnson twice from 55 yards and 20 yards.
The second series proved profitable for the Cougars as they scored four times from the 10-yard line. Atkins hooked up with Lonnie Johnson from 10 yards out, Barrie Wesby had a 5-yard run and Tywoun Nixon found paydirt twice from 5 and 10 yards out. Rycerz hooked up with Derek Lindsey from 7 yards out for the Trojans’ lone score of the second series.
“This wasn’t much more than a glorified practice for Highland football and the kids knew that going in,” Highland coach Trent Grider said. “Our No. 1s played the first series together and didn’t play together after that. We may see them again in the sectionals and if you remember last year’s sectional we didn’t want to show them too much.”