ISNet Week #5 game Preview
vs. Lockport (Twp.):
Not Just Another "Clash on the Canal"
Another year on the calendar means another
Lockport-Lincoln Way "Clash on the Canal". For the last two
years, it's been a three-way showdown between the Porters and the split
campus of the Knights of (New Lenox) Lincoln-Way Central and the three-year
old (Frankfort) Lincoln-Way East Griffins. It's the young Griffins that
get the upset try this week in Lockport for a key SICA Blue contest
(iHigh.com National Webcast - 9/26 @ 6:45pm CT - also available at http://ISNet.4mg.com).
With the state championship focus squarely on Mundelein
most folks don't know that the Porters - defending Class 8A state champs
and the second ever team to hold that title in Illinois - are also undefeated
at 4-0 (2-0 SICA Blue). But don't tell Jake Christensen that.
The senior QB is quietly putting together a pretty good season, having
passed for averages of 185 yards and 2.5 TDs per game. And as he takes
over for Steve Walker, who led last year's title run, the precision
that he learned from him is shining through with each pass that he's
But just as Lockport is good in the air, the upstart Griffins (2-2 /
2-0 SICA Blue) are equally dangerous on the ground. Gus Olafsson
leads a team that has most of the kids from its first-ever team in 2001
gone; oddly enough, LWE made the playoffs that year as well as last
year's quarterfinal run. People down Frankfort way should be calling
him "Gus the Bus". Olafsson - also a senior - has averaged
150 yards and 3 TDs in two SICA Blue wins this year over (Orland Park)
Sandurg and Joliet; he was almost non-existent in two early non-conference
losses to (Park Ridge) Maine South and (Chicago) St. Rita.
In the short series between the Griffins and the Porters, it is the
Porters who have the early upper hand 2-0, with a 45-7 win at Lockport
in 2001 and a 24-21 squeaker last year in Frankfort. As both teams are
tied for the SICA Blue lead, look for a contrast of styles to clash
just minutes away from the historic I&M Canal, where Lockport High
resides. If the Griffins can confuse Christensen early with pressure
from pre-season conference all-star defensive linemen Kyle Bookhout
and Steve Hertzog, look for this tussle to go all the way
down to the last play, considering the improvement of the Griffins last
season. Also, there is a four-way tie in the division at this point,
and with games against division co-leaders Lincoln-Way Central and Homewood-Flossmoor
on the horizon, this could be the game to watch for the inside track
at the division championship.
by Alvin Washington