CN100 Sports Football Preview: Week 3 - Oswego vs. Joliet West

CN100 Game of the Week: Oswego vs. Joliet West

IHSA Football Week 3 – Oswego Panthers vs. Joliet West Tigers

– This Saturday’s CN100 game heads to the Southwest Prairie Conference for a battle featuring an established power and a team looking to forge its own identity.

Oswego has reached the playoffs in 27 of the past 30 years, winning two state titles and coming off of a 9-3 season a year ago. Joliet West, meanwhile, reached the playoffs for the first time in 2014 and is still searching for its first playoff win.

The Panthers and Tigers matchup can on be seen on CN100, The Comcast Network, at Noon and 4 p.m. on Sunday, Sept. 11, and 7 p.m. on Tuesday, Sept. 13. You can also watch it anytime in HD with Xfinity On Demand by clicking Get Local and CN100. X1 users, look for Get Local under the Xfinity Services tab.

Oswego (2-0) has done it with defense so far this season, beating Minooka 7-6 and blanking Plainfield North 12-0.

"Offensively, we were looking to establish our identity with some younger players in spots," Oswego Coach Brian Cooney said. "Over the past couple of weeks, the offense has made tremendous strides and is continuing to do so throughout the week of preparation."

Junior quarterback Levi Olson leads completed 13-of-34 passed for 165 yards, two touchdowns and no interceptions in two games. Senior receiver Elliott Pipkin has been his top target (six catches, 63 yards, one touchdown); with senior running back Drew White carrying the load in the backfield with 145 yards in 26 carries.

The Panthers’ stingy defense is led by junior cornerback Julian Bell, who has 18 tackles and three tackles for loss. Junior linebacker Dayne Millard adds 14 tackles. Senior free safety Kyle Keeton and junior defensive tackles Noah Shannon each posted 11 tackles. Keeton also has two interceptions, while Shannon has two sacks.

"Defensively, we’ve been pleased with the overall outcome," Cooney said. "We still have many improvements to make, but the athletes’ willingness to track the ball has made a big difference in our defensive output. Although we’ve got a ways to go to reach our potential, this is a hard-working group."

Joliet West (1-1) has an exciting young signal-caller in sophomore Jaxon Aubry. The son of Coach Jason Aubry picked up five games of experience late last season, and he’s carried the momentum into this season. He’s 37-for-68 for 484 yards, four touchdowns and three interceptions.

"He has come out this year with a pretty good start," Jason Aubry said. "As of (Monday), he was the No. 2 passer in the state of Illinois."

Aubry spreads it around to senior receiver John Holman Jr. with eight catches for 128 yards and a score and junior receiver Terrence Neal grabbing six balls for 151 yards and two touchdowns. Junior receiver Omari Ferguson has been the short-yardage target, catching a team-high 11 passes for 86 yards.

Junior running back Ezekiel Tulloch keeps defenses honest with 129 yards in 29 carries. The Tigers have yet to score a rushing touchdown this season.

"Offensively, we need to sustain drives and break some big plays," Jason Aubry said. "We do have big-play potential on our offense."

Junior defensive back Arthur Hart III and senior middle linebacker Drew Smith each have 22 tackles to pace Joliet West. Hart also has two interceptions. Senior safety Marcus Blackmon racked up 17 tackles, while junior linebacker Jonathan Pullen has 14 stops. Senior defensive tackle Julius Garrett posted 11 tackles and the team’s only sack.


- Paul Johnson, CN100 Sports Correspondent


Stay up to date on all of CN100’s games this season by visiting our website, or follow CN100 Sports on Facebook and Twitter to see where our crew will be next. When the games are done, tune into to see the best in Chicagoland prep sports each week with CN100 Sports Weekly. Game of the Week video highlights, Battle of the Fans clips and Prep Profile previews can all be found on our YouTube channel.

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