Bowling Green hosting Oak Forest Academy

Published 1:24 pm Friday, September 15, 2017

Bowling Green is back in action tonight and will take on Oak Forest Academy at home with kickoff set for 7 p.m.
“We haven’t played them in a couple of years,” Bowling Green coach David Currier said. “It’s a huge test. We’re young and inexperienced and they’ve got a championship-caliber team. We’re improving. We’re going to go out there, try to run the ball and slow them down as much as possible.
“They’re very talented. They’ve got breakaway people. We just want to try to run the ball, keep the clock moving. We want that to turn into touchdowns, but we can’t keep giving them the ball back.”
Currier said the keys to the game are not turning the ball over and not giving up the big play. He said the Buccaneers need to keep the ball as much as they can.
Bowling Green is 0-4 after falling to Wayne Academy, 29-14, last week. Cameron Bell threw for 85 yards with a touchdown and two interceptions and he had 74 rushing yards on 13 attempts along with a touchdown.
Larry Dillon had 22 yards rushing on five carries and he caught the touchdown from Bell.
On the defensive side, Cade Morere and Gunner Peterson made 20 tackles each. C.J. Smith and Ben Bickham had seven tackles each. Cameron Brock finished with six tackles and an interception.
Bowling Green will be playing without Harrison Creel, who starts on the offensive line and plays defense. Creel suffered a concussion last week.
Oak Forest Academy is 4-0 this season and defeated Silliman Institute, 21-6, last week.
The Yellow Jackets have been to the Class AAAA-Division 2 finals the last three years and won the title in 2014.
Oak Forest Jason Brabham is in his 17th season at Oak Forest’s head coach.
He said that this year’s team is really inexperienced.
“We have new faces in a lot of new positions,” Brabham said. “It’s been an adventure developing these guys and finding out where they need to be, but they’ve worked hard and they’ve been coachable. They show up and give a lot of effort on Friday night.”
The team has eight returning starters, but Brabham said they’ve had a pretty sharp growth curve.
“We’ve made mistakes, but they’ve made big plays when the time has come,” Brabham said.
Nobody on offense has big stats, as they are spread out.
First-year starter Brad Lamonte has thrown for 323 yards on 27-of-52 passing, with a touchdown to Tyler Conerly. He has thrown two interceptions. Brabham said his signal caller put in many hours in the offseason. The coach said Lamonte has made a lot of mistakes, but has also made a lot of really good plays.
Conerly has 68 yards receiving and a team leading six catches.
Bradley Knippers enters with six receptions and a team-leading 91 yards. Brabham said Knippers is one of the returning starters. He said Knippers isn’t a big player, but finals a way to get open and catches the ball.
Josh Falcone has run 58 times for 437 yards and six touchdowns. He also has five receptions for 60 yards. His carries, yards and touchdowns are tops on the team. Brabham said Falcone has been the biggest surprise. He said Falcone is in his first year on varsity and has really run hard. Brabham said Falcone has been “the sparkplug,” and he is really proud of what he has brought to the team.
Trent Smith is at 48 rushing attempts for 276 yards and five scores to go with a catch for 36. Brabham said that Smith is a returning starter and is a blue-collar player that runs hard and provides stability.
Thomas Lee begins with 21 rushes for 154 yards. Brabham said Lee is new to the varsity team and is coming along nicely.
Brabham named nose guard Hunter Beech, defensive end Josh Anzalone and outside linebacker Cole Simpson as his top defenders.
All three are seniors. The two linemen have never been full-time starters and Brabham said those guys have worked their whole career to get to this point. Brabham said Simpson started last season and was all-state at outside linebacker.
Simpson, Anzalone and Beech are second-through-fourth on the team in tackles with 26, 23 and 16, respectively. Jordan Hawkins leads the Yellow Jackets with 28 tackles.