LEMONT – Of all the one-on-one showdowns that made the difference in Lemont’s 35-0 South Suburban Blue rout of unbeaten Oak Forest on Friday, the most compelling pitted the Indians’ Jeremy Fejedelem against Nick Czeszewski.
At 5-foot-11, Fejedelem gave away three inches to the foe from Lemont’s biggest rival, but nothing else. Whether it was Fejedelem at wide receiver and Czeszewski at cornerback, or vice versa, it was a sight to see.
In the end, the kid in blue wearing No. 2 outpointed the kid in white wearing No. 1.
Fejedelem scored twice, first on a 19-yard end-around to open the scoring, and later when he beat Czeszewski cleanly and hauled in Spencer Nagel’s 20-yard pass in the left corner of the end zone for a 21-0 lead.
“I really respect him,” Fejedelem said of Czeszewski. “That was pretty much the first time in my high school career I got to experience that high-level play one-on-one like that. I give him credit, he got me on one, on a pick, but I think I made up for it.”
The touchdown strike was Fejedelem’s only catch, but the Czeszewski catch he spoke of was his only one as well, and it was nowhere near the end zone.
The roll call of Indians contributing to the outcome includes Nagel (8 of 13, 137 yards), whose long interception was more than offset by two touchdowns; Tyler Swann, whose perfect seal block on Fejedelem’s rushing score was straight from the textbook, and a defensive line that held the powerful Bengals to 59 rushing yards, 6 in the second half.
“That was one of the best blocks I’ve ever seen from a wide receiver,” Fejedelem said of Swann’s block. “I really didn’t do much.”
All of the above means Lemont, having authored two straight shutouts, has to play hard again next week. If the Indians (7-1, 5-0) beat T.F. North (4-4, 2-4), they win the SSC Blue outright, and with it, the automatic bid to the playoffs. They’re in already, of course, as is Oak Forest (7-1, 4-1), but there’s the postseason seeding and pride involved in this. T.F. North must win for a shot at the playoffs.
“I truly didn’t expect that score,” Lemont coach Bret Kooi said. “Defensively, I think we’ve played pretty good all year long. Offensively, we’re starting to get production and capitalize on the field position our defense gives us.
“Scary thought, but I think there’s a another level [the offense] can go.”
It was a thorough trouncing in a series where the road team had won the previous five games. Overall, Lemont held Oak Forest to 95 yards. The Bengals came in having scored 281 points, allowing only 107.
Fejedelem’s 19-yard scoring rush off left end capped a five-play drive 2:27 into the game.
Following Oak Forest’s second straight three-and-out, the Indians made it 14-0 on Steven Fleming’s 32-yard reception from Nagel midway through the quarter.
The Nagel-to-Fejedelem collaboration came with 2:36 left in the opening half. Jake Kirkman and Matt Dunne added rushing touchdowns in the second half.
Lemont’s sophomores won, 31-0.