OSWEGO – No Southwest Prairie Conference team has found an answer for the Oswego football program in 30 straight games, and Minooka was the latest statistic in the Panthers’ win streak on Saturday night.
Oswego scored its first two touchdowns in an 11-second span and the night would only get worse for Minooka as the Panthers went on to win 42-7, handing the Indians their first loss of the season.
“Offensively, we didn’t play very well. We didn’t do the things we were supposed to do,” Minooka coach Paul Forsythe said. “We need to play better. We’re 3-1. We’ve got a lot of work to do. We’ll bounce back. We got punched in the chin a little bit and we need to learn from it.”
After Oswego quarterback Steven Frank connected on consecutive touchdown passes to Brice Robinson (22 yards) and Conor Morton (19 yards), Minooka (3-1, 1-1) responded with a 78-yard touchdown pass from quarterback John Carnagio to Quintin Durov, who caught the ball near midfield and sprinted along the Indians’ sideline untouched with 3:32 remaining in the opening quarter.
But the 14-7 score was as close as Minooka would get to Oswego (2-2, 2-0). The Indians turned the ball over three times on a pair of interceptions and a fumble and only reached the red zone once more after their lone touchdown. Trailing 21-7, Minooka recovered an Oswego fumble at the start of the second half to get good field position at the Oswego 24. But a pair of runs net a loss of 13 yards and a false start penalty created a third-and-19 situation before Carnagio was sacked on fourth down.
Oswego’s Chad Marsh intercepted Carnagio and returned the ball 79 yards for a touchdown with 1:40 to play in the third quarter. Frank (9 for 17,151 yards, 4 TDs, INT) scored on a 44-yard run – his fifth touchdown of the night – to cap the score, 42-7, and send the Panther starters to the sideline for the night.
“We’re into the conference and getting into our groove,” Oswego coach Brian Cooney said. “The second half was much better than the first half. Even though it was 21-7, we didn’t feel good about the type of 21-7 that we had. We felt it could be more. Sometimes, we play against ourselves and in the second half we didn’t do that. We did what we were supposed to do and kept going, which was nice to see.”