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Oswego football strikes early, cruises past Romeoville

ROMEOVILLE – Oswego lit up the scoreboard Friday night, scoring early and often in a 50-14 Southwest Prairie Conference victory over Romeoville.

“Credit Oswego,” Romeoville football coach Oliver Gibson said. “They’re a heck of a football team and they execute. I think they’re going to go far.”

The Panthers began their scoring spree on the first drive with four consecutive handoffs to Erick Vargas Jr. (14 carries, 86 yards). He marched the Panthers to Romeoville’s 15-yard line, and on the fifth play of the series, Chad Marsh (four carries, 44 yards) scored on a 15-yard run to give the Panther a 6-0 lead.

“We really wanted to get the running game going,” Oswego quarterback Steven Frank explained. “I think we established that early. We didn’t even throw a pass in that first drive and just drove it down their throats.”

After a Spartan three-and-out, Frank targeted receiver Conor Morton (three catches, 30 yards) on the first play of the drive for a touchdown. In six offensive plays, the Panthers (4-1, 3-0) scored twice and were leading 13-0.

“It’s hard for our kids because we’re a team that can’t make many mistakes against an average team, and that was a good Oswego team,” Gibson said.

Things continued to escalate for the Spartans (1-4, 1-2) with a three-and-out on the next series, followed by a bad snap out of the end zone for a safety. When Oswego received the subsequent kickoff, it took five snaps for the Panthers to score again as Frank hit tight end Brennan Burdo for a 12-yard TD, making it 22-0 after one first quarter.

Vargas scored on runs of 3 and 19 yards while Frank hit a 7-yard touchdown pass to Morton in the second quarter for a 43-0 halftime lead.

Asked about his quarterback’s performance, Oswego coach Brian Cooney said, “That’s Steven. He’s a hard worker. He wins his games on Saturday, Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday. Come Friday, he just does what he does.”

In the second half, Romeoville got on the board with a 41-yard TD run by quarterback Anthony Kitchens (seven carries, 41 yards) and a 67-yard run by junior Jordan Nettles.

“I’m looking forward to getting the taste out of our mouth,” Gibson said. “We are not the team that we showed. We can’t make mistakes, and we made a lot of them early.”

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