FRANKFORT – Providence Catholic, one of the most storied programs in state history, finds itself back in the spotlight after following a second-place finish in 2009 with seasons that ended, respectively, with a first-round exit and no postseason in the last two years.
The Celtics dominated Bradley-Bourbonnais 44-7 last week to improve to 8-2 despite running through the gauntlet of the Chicago Catholic Blue and a rigorous nonconference schedule. That seasoning will come in handy when the Celtics travel down the road to Frankfort to take on one of the state’s top Class 7A teams, Lincoln-Way East, Saturday at 7 p.m. in a game that will be broadcast by CN100. The game will be shown at 11 a.m. and 5 p.m. on Sunday, Nov. 4, and at 9 p.m. on Tuesday, Nov. 6. You can also find the game throughout Chicagoland with Xfinity On Demand.
“Having played a tough schedule that included Joliet Catholic and then the Catholic League Blue, we feel that we have played great teams week in and week out and it is a matter of not turning the ball over and executing,” Providence coach Mark Coglianese said. “After having six turnovers against Mt. Carmel and still almost winning (a 17-0 loss to end the regular season), we feel confident in what we do. Lincoln-Way East will be a huge challenge and we will have to play our best to beat them.”
Running back Brandon Price will shoulder most of the offensive burden for the Celtics. He is aided by David Kaminski in the backfield and the versatile Chad Weaver, who dangerous out of the backfield or as one of quarterback Dominic Lagone’s top targets in the passing game.
“We rely upon our running game,” Coglianese said. “Brandon will carry the bulk of the load, but Chad can be a big-play guy. Dominic is a threat to run with the ball as well.”
The Celtics have played sturdy defense this season, though the group is undersized. They will have their hands full with the explosive offense of Lincoln-Way East.
The unbeaten Griffins are led by Northern Illinois recruit Tommy Fuessel at quarterback. Despite playing in the shadow of current Illinois State quarterback Blake Winkler last season, Northern still saw enough from Fuessel to offer him a scholarship. This season, everybody has seen what the Huskies have seen.
“He is their playmaker, and will be the difference in the game if we let him make big plays,” Coglianese said.
Fuessel, a threat with his arm and legs, gets an assist from Nick Colangelo and Justin Corbett in the backfield and Josh Maholovich and Austin Winkler in the pass game. As usual, the Griffins have a solid kicker in Anthony Sciarini.
The Griffins cruise into the second round of the playoffs at 10-0, including wins over six playoff teams. They won the powerful Southwest Suburban Blue in dominant fashion, including a 23-point win over defending Class 8A state champion Bolingbrook.
Coach Rob Zvonar, the only coach the program has ever known, carries a 112-26 career record in 12 seasons into Saturday’s game. Providence has won nine state championships and has reached the playoffs in 27 of the past 29 years.
Be sure to tune in to see Edgy Tim’s “Keys to the Game.” Get more Edgy at edgytim.com
- Paul Johnson, CN100 Correspondent
Stay up to date on all of CN100's games this season by visiting www.cn100.tv/game_of_the_week.aspx or at www.facebook.com/gameoftheweek. Find us at twitter.com/CN100GOTW. Also, check out the Battle of the Fans section at www.facebook.com/battleofthefans to see who has the biggest and wildest fans. Each week, catch up on the best in Chicagoland prep sports with CN100 Sports Weekly. Check it out at http://www.cn100.tv/sports_weekly.aspx or at www.facebook.com/sportsweekly.