Record Newspapers football notebook: Sandwich defense ‘goes to a whole new level’ in win over Johnsburg

Sandwich Caleb Jones (14) tackles Manteno's Kyle McCullough (4) after the catch during a football game at Sandwich High School on Saturday, Aug 26, 2023.

Jimmy Ramey had a bit of a jarring start to his season, provided by his own power.

Sandwich’s junior linebacker, the very first play of the game, first game of the season, hit a kid so hard Ramey gave himself a concussion. The injury cost Ramey, who Sandwich coach Kris Cassie characterized in the preseason as “6-foot, 175 pounds of pure animal” a couple weeks on the sidelines.

But Ramey was among a number of Sandwich defenders to make their presence felt in last Friday’s 28-6 win over Johnsburg. Ramey had four tackles and two assists to help the Indians (4-1) bounce back from their only loss of the season, in Week 4 to state-ranked Richmond-Burton.

“He played big against Richmond-Burton, and the second half last Friday he went to another gear,” Cassie said. “He showed us what he is capable of, flying all over the field.”

Sandwich had a somewhat inauspicious start to last Friday’s game.

Cassie said that Johnsburg hit Sandwich with an onside kick, recovered and went down the field to score.

“We’re like ‘OK boys we need to wake up a little,’” Cassie said.

Sandwich got on the board with Braden Behringer’s 31-yard touchdown pass to Calvin Lane, led 7-6 at halftime and dominated the second half behind a stellar defensive performance that shut out Johnsburg over the final three-plus quarters. Caleb Jones had five tackles, four assists and a tackle for loss and Jeffrey Ashley two tackles, four assists, a sack and a tackle for loss.

“The second half our defense went to a whole new level,” Cassie said. “Johnsburg was able to move the ball on us a little bit but our defense, guys like Caleb Jones and Jimmy Ramey, they just elevated their game. Jeffrey Ashley was an absolute monster, he had a blocked punt that led to a touchdown for Caleb Jones, Caleb Jones had a nice pick, Ramey was all over the field making big tackles, one particular drive they got a holding call and the next play Ashley got a huge hit on their quarterback.”

Offensively, Parker Anderson had 16 carries for 88 yards and a touchdown and Nick Michalek 12 carries for 74 yards.

Cassie likes the even keel and competitiveness this group has brought week in and week out, even after the R-B loss.

“The mentality never changes with these kids; they truly believed going into the R-B game they were going to win,” Cassie said. “They just need to experience what it’s like to play an elite football team. That is what it looks like. That is the kind of team we want to be.

“The resiliency of these guys is incredible. After that loss, it’s let let’s get back to work. They believe they’re supposed to win. That’s the mentality they have.”

Yorkville drops close call to West Aurora

Yorkville’s 17-14 loss to West Aurora last Friday was one that, at least by several statistical measures, the Foxes likely should believe got away from them.

Yorkville out-gained West Aurora yardage-wise 369-281, ran 63 plays to West Aurora’s 43 and had double the amount of first downs. But the Foxes had a touchdown called back on a penalty, and a number of first downs. Yorkville (2-3) was whistled for a whopping 18 penalties for 176 yards.

“When that happens it’s tough to overcome,” Yorkville coach Dan McGuire said. “I feel like every game we’ve had up to this point we have had a chance to win, several close games. Ultimately we made too many mistakes were we were unable to finish drives for a variety of reasons. I felt like we could do a lot of things but we got behind the chains and that forced our hands. Ultimately we didn’t play a clean enough game.”

Oswego to honor 2003 champs

Twenty years ago, the 2003 Oswego Panthers raised the Class 7A state trophy to the delight of its hundreds of followers after a 28-21 double overtime victory against Libertyville in Champaign.

On Friday, Oswego welcomes back this team as “honorary captains” to celebrate this huge accomplishment prior to the homecoming game against West Aurora.

The football team members present at the game on Friday will receive a commemorative trophy honoring the 20th anniversary of their state championship. The state trophy will be present on the field that evening.

Oswego East’s Zac Clarke commits to Cincinnati

Oswego East’s Zac Clarke on Monday announced via Twitter his commitment to Cincinnati. Clarke, a three-star recruit and the 41st-ranked prospect in Illinois’ Class of 2024 by 247Sports, had originally committed to Western Michigan in June but recently decommitted.