GORDON TOPS LAKE VIEW 54-0
By John Montgomery
What a difference a year of experience on a football field can make for Gordon's Julian Russell. Last year, Russell was learning a new offense at quarterback while adjusting to life on the varsity team.
Russell rushed for 974 yards, but Gordon finished 2-7 while trying to learn Navy's option offense.
"I was comfortable last year," Russell said. "It's really no difference (to me)."
"He makes this offense go," admitted Gordon offensive coordinator Chris Haas. "He can do things that are not in this offense. If we go to the playoffs, it's going to be on him. He sets the pace. He sets the tone in practice everyday. He's a thousand times better passing the ball. We can throw the ball(if necessary)."
Russell had a great opening day rushing for 149 yards and four touchdowns to lead Gordon past Lake View 54-0 on Saturday at Lane Stadium.
"He worked hard in the offseason," Gordon head coach Bill Jeske said after the win. "(Julian) has worked on his quarterback skills. He's the real deal. He's a hundred percent better throwing the ball."
Gordon jumped out to a 26-0 lead in the opening quarter by taking advantage of three turnovers while limiting Lake View to zero yards of total offense.
"They just didn't come to play," said Lake View head coach Mike Menczynski.
Russell started his day by scoring on a 44-yard run in the opening offensive series of the 2011 season.
Gordon didn't need the passing game on this day as the Rams rushed for 295 yards while Lake View could generate only 26 yards of total offense and completed only one pass.
Russell had a 27-yard touchdown pass to Scott Calderon called back on an illegal motion penalty.
Russell had a good game, but Gordon received contributions from its offense and defense. Four different players scored touchdowns in the season opener.
"We have a lot of weapons," stated Russell in his orange shoes.
Russell wasn't the only player looking forward to opening day. Lake View's Ashley Diaz was hoping to make her varsity debut at linebacker for the Wildcats.
Diaz will miss the entire season for medical reasons after failing a team physical in July.
"She understands the game more than most of our players," Menczynski said on Diaz who played on the sophomore team last year. "For her first year playing linebacker she did well. She's disappointed (about not playing this season). It's only a game."
Things weren't much better for Lake View in the second quarter as Russell raced into the end zone on two long plays.
Russell scored twice in that opening quarter along with teammates Jorge Garcia and Habeeb Durojaive.
Jeske is expecting big things from Russell and his teammates in 2011.
"I expect him to win the Lawless Award(given to Catholic League Player of the Year)," proclaimed Jeske. "I'm expecting us to go to the state playoffs."
Gordon has only 31 players, and Jeske will rely heavily on his 16 seniors to carry the burden of bringing the Rams back to postseason play.
The next challenge for Gordon will be trying to slow down De La Salle sophomore Mikale Wilbon. Wilbon rushed for 262 yards and four touchdowns to lead the Meteors(1-0) past Lane 35-7.
Lake View will face Kennedy on Thursday at Winnemac Stadium.