CN100 Sports Football Preview: Week 8 - Crete-Monee vs. Bloom Township

jim sheehan
CN100 Game of the Week: Crete-Monee vs. Bloom Township

IHSA Football Week 8 – Crete-Monee vs. Bloom Township

– Ever since winning the Class 6A state championship in 2012 behind current Minnesota Vikings receiver Laquan Treadwell, Crete-Monee has turned into a state powerhouse.

The Warriors went 11-3 last year, placing second in the state, and are already playoff eligible this year at 5-2, including a 4-0 mark in the Southland Conference.

"They have a winning tradition," Bloom coach Tony Palombi said. "They are at a point in their program where they reload their team, not rebuild it."

Looking to keep its playoff hopes afloat, Bloom will need to take down the Warriors on Saturday in a game that can be seen on CN100, The Comcast Network, at Noon and 4 p.m. on Sunday, Oct. 16, and 7 p.m. on Tuesday, Oct. 18. 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.

Crete-Monee has another special group this year, led by 6-foot-6, 220-pound junior quarterback Isiah Rucker. He’s thrown for 1,405 yards, 10 touchdowns and two interceptions, spreading the ball around in the process.

Junior receiver Kevin Pate leads the team with 32 catches for 540 yards and three touchdowns. He’s also a red-zone weapon in the rushing game, rushing for 185 yards and 13 touchdowns in 50 carries.

Senior receiver Marcus Kidd (6-foot-3) has 21 catches for 292 yards and three scores, junior receiver Josh Tomas adds 17 catches for 263 yards and two touchdowns and junior receiver Tyler Mays contributes 11 catches for 200 yards and a score.

The Warriors evenly distribute the ball in the backfield, as well. Senior Mileak Harper leads the team with 502 yards and three touchdowns in 78 carries. Juniors Xavier Ledet (51 carries, 311 yards, three touchdowns) and Da’Tuan Carter (41 carries, 300 yards, four touchdowns) also contribute.

Defensively, a productive line paves the way. Junior tackle Jaleel Holloway has 37 tackles, 17 of which are for a loss, with four sacks. Senior end Creo Argue Jr. fills the stat sheet with five sacks, two forced fumbles, two fumble recoveries, and touchdown returns via interception and punt return. Senior middle linebacker Jaylen Peoples leads the team with 54 tackles and six sacks.

"Crete-Monee is a good, disciplined team," Palombi said. "They have size and speed."

Bloom (4-3, 1-2 Southland) needs a win in the final two weeks to return to the postseason. Last year’s 4-5 mark snapped a three-year playoff streak.

The Blazing Trojans have a dynamic quarterback of their own in junior Juan Green who has thrown 93-for-196 for 1,504 yards, with 17 touchdowns and six interceptions. He’s also rushed for 322 yards and six touchdowns.

Bloom spreads it out, relying heavily on the passing game. Seniors T.J. Harvey (11 catches, 143 yards, three touchdowns), Princeton Nathan (14 catches, 190 yards, four touchdowns), Jovante Slater (22 catches, 482 yards, five touchdowns) and Grant Stennis (16 catches, 265 yards, three touchdowns) and junior Khristian Johnson (24 catches, 263 yards, three touchdowns) all pitch in.

Senior running back Parker Deloach adds 180 yards on 28 carries.

Senior linebacker Camren Alexander leads the defense with 71 tackles, nine tackles for loss, three sacks, and interception and five offensive touchdowns. Senior defensive lineman Trequawn Edwards registered 46 tackles, 15 tackles for loss and three sacks this season.

Senior Isaiah Giles (55 tackles) and junior Davin Perrin Jr. (44 tackles) lead the linebackers. Junior defensive back Dequan Jones has 55 tackles and four interceptions.

"We are playing fast, hard and with passion," Palombi said.

- Paul Johnson, CN100 Sports Correspondent


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