Notre Dame star Matt Mooney(sr, F, 6-4, 195lbs) shoots a free throw as Foreman's Marcus Gatlin(5-11,jr, G) watches. Mooney poured 25 points to lead the Dons.
Foreman gave Notre Dame a much closer game than it probably expected. Notre Dame held a 4 point lead with 1:36 to play. Foreman had the ball. Karon Linton(sr, 6-3, G) had the ball and drove down the lane to what looked like a basket. That is when Notre Dame's Justin Halloran(6-6, sr, C) came up with I feel the game's biggest play by blocking the ball. It gave Notre Dame posession and they held on to win 56-48.
Foreman showed early that they could play against the favored Notre Dame Dons. Foreman took a 19-13 lead at the end of the first quarter.
However, Notre Dame really stepped it up defensively in the 2nd quarter. Notre Dame started the 2nd quarter on an 8-0 run and held Foreman scoreless for the first 6 minutes and 24 seconds of the 2nd quarter. Notre Dame took a 27-22 half time lead.
Overall, I was impressed by the play of both teams. Foreman played a great game on both sides of the ball. Karl White(6-6, F/C) - one of the top unsigned seniors in the state - had several blocks and was a monster down low. Nobody from Notre Dame could stop him when he got the ball down low. The problem was the Notre Dame defense prevented him from getting the ball enough.
I left with a very positive impression of the Foreman team. I could see why they were the Red-North champs. They have some size with 5 players 6-5 or over. 4 of those 5 return next year and two of which are freshman - Jakari Smith(6-6, fr) and Doug Lowery(6-5,fr).
Foreman will be very strong next year as they have only 2 seniors on it's 14 man roster.
Johnny Daniels(6-5,250lbs, sr) of Foreman committed to the Purdue Boilermakers of the Big 10. Daniels played on both the offensive and defensive lines for a Foreman team that finished 7-2 and won the Chicago Big Shoulders Conference.
Daniels become Foreman's first ever Division I College recruit. He is projected as a Defensive Tackle in college.
The story is that Daniels originally wanted to play basketball at Foreman before taking on football. Fans may get a chance to see Daniels in one more sport as he threw the shot put on Foreman's track team and if he decides to throw the shot put again I have him as a pre-season CPS shot put pick.
Personally I have had a chance to meet with Daniels briefly. He is a nice guy with nice parents. I wish him all the luck as he continues his career to the next level.
Foreman played their hearts out against Rockford Auburn- who finished 3rd in the state last year in class 4A basketball. But it was not enough as Foreman fell 75-67 in the opening round of the Proviso West Holiday Tournament.
Foreman actually led by 10 points in this game. But an Auburn rally gave them the lead again. It was only due to the heroics of Foreman's Carl White(6-7,sr,C) that gave Foreman a chance again. White picked up a rebound on a missed free throw with 3 seconds left in the 4th quarter then scored to tie the game and send it in overtime. White had an incredible game with 25 points, 15 rebounds, and a big 10 blocked shots.
This effort has elevated the profile of Foreman. To play a team the quality of Auburn this well -you gotta give some credit to Foreman.
Foreman plays TF South on Wed in the consolation bracket.
With the returning talent from a team that finished 20-5 last year, Foreman seems to be the consensus pre-season favorite in the Red-North. The name you will hear the most is Carl White(6-6,sr, F), their top returning starting who has garnered recruiting interest from Loyola and Yale. Their prospects have also improved with the addition of some players. I hear that Foreman has 3 top transfers that will help them this year. In addition, Foreman has a couple of promising freshman. Doug Lowrey(6-4, fr, F/C) is one of them. Lowrey has performed well at some off season basketball camps including the nationally recognized Five Star Camp. Lowrey is a ferocious rebounder. Also look for 6-3 freshman forward Jakari Smith(F, 6-3, fr).
It is not known yet wheter Lowrey and Smith will play at the varsity level as Foreman has not played a game yet.
Foreman plays at Lane December 7th to open their Red-North Conference play. That game is not going to be a gimme as Foreman beat Lane by only 5 points last year. Also, Foreman plays at the newly expanded prestigious Proviso West Holiday tournament in December.
Jamari Brooks Lincoln Park #1 SS, LB -Tackles - 73;Tackle assists- 22;Sacks - 12;Forced fumbles -6;Fumble recoveries -3;Interceptions - 2; 225 - Bench;395 - Squat;4.8 - 40yd Dash. According to Brooks "I should be nominated for Chicago conference defensive player of the
year because of my strong work ethnic and positive attitude. My team has
been through a lot over the past years and as a 4 year captain I have
managed to hold the group together and continue to push my teammates.
Also I clearly have made a statement on the field by having 73 tackles
and 12 sacks only playing in 7 the seven conference games starting at
both sides of the ball. I believe I am one the the best players on the
defensive side of the ball along with my good friend JD "Johnny Daniels"
Johnny Daniels(6-5,250lbs, DE),Foreman - At 6-5, 250lbs, Daniels has the size and athleticism to play at the next level. He already has an offer from Northern Illinois University. Named pre-season all area top 100 players by the Sun-Times. Led Foreman to Chicago Big Shoulders Conference title.
Johnny Daniels(right) hugs teammate Michael Hill as Foreman celebrates their win over Taft.
"WE FINALLY DID IT...WE FINALLY DID IT," yelled many Foreman players after their hard fought victory over Taft. With the win, Taft wins the Chicago Big Shoulders conference and the promotion to the Illini that comes with it.
This game did not come easy for Foreman. Taft's defense was incredibly stubborn. Foreman's only score came in the 2nd quarter on a Perrin Groves(jr- QB) 65 yard run touchdown run. But after that Taft's defense practically shut down Foreman's offense. Foreman did not get a single first down in the 3rd quarter and only managed their first first down of the 2nd half with 2:20 left in the game.
Taft got on board in the 3rd quarter on a 5 yard touchdown run. They elected to go for a 2 point conversion instead of an extra point attempt. But their conversion attempt failed.
Taft played without star running back James Liss(jr,RB)- their top rusher and one of the top running backs in the Chicago Conference. "He hurts his ankle. He payed in the last game, but I think he hurt his ankle on a long run. He really wanted to play in this game," said Liss's mother.
Taft had their chances in this game played under wet and sindy conditions. Taft had the ball three times in the Foreman Red Zone. But was only able to score one time. Foreman came up with a big defensive stand in the 3rd quarter when Taft had the ball 1st and goal on the Foreman 4 yard line.
Steinmetz fans were watching this game. One Steimetz fan told me "We are rooting for Foreman. We need Foreman to win big over Taft, then we need to take care of Amundsen for us to make the playoffs....We played Ottawa in the non-conference. Have you seen Ottawa? They have 100 players who are all corn fed farmer type all over 6 feet tall. Ottawa crushed us by 45 points.....Taft played Manely...nothing against Manley, but they are a basketball school."
Undefeated Taft plays one loss Foreman this Thursday night at Hanson for conference.
These two schools are beginning to have a serious rivalry. I think it started in basketball but has quickly carried into football.
Last year, Taft stunned Foreman 24-21. When I say stunned, I mean stunned. After the game Foreman players were visibly upset. I heard chairs and things being thrown on the way to the locker room. I heard lots of cursing as well. That was a big game. The Taft win gave them the conference title. The ripples and effect of that game were felt throughout the off season.
The result of that game became bigger when Taft stunned everyone by not accepting the bid to move to the Illini conference.
In this years game, both teams have already qualified for the state playoffs. So this game is purely for the conference title.
On paper both team cannot be much more evenly matched. Taft has scored 194 points. Foreman has scored 193 points. Both are undefeated at 5-0 in conference. No team has a dominant quarterback. Both have solid not spectacular run games. Both will bring fans.
Needless to say: "THIS IS A BIG GAME!"
update: In the post, I stated both teams have already qualified for the state playoffs. I may be wrong with that statement because I am not familiar of all the tiebreakers in the event there is a record two way tie for 2nd place in conference.