Chicago Orr Academy at Geneseo - Quad-Cities Online: QC Prep Sports

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Chicago Orr Academy at Geneseo

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Posted: Friday, September 4, 1998 1:00 am

Time and place: Tonight at 7:30 at J.D. Darnall Field. Sophomores start at 5:15.

Last season: The Maple Leafs blanked Orr 56-0. It was the Spartans first game and set the tone for a long 0-8 season. The Leafs advanced to the quarterfinals of the Class 4A playoffs before bowing out to finish 11-1.

Off and running: The Leafs hit Galesburg hard, scoring 17 first-quarter points. It's the type of start Geneseo coach Denny Diericx would like to see for the next eight games. ``To get a handle on the game that quickly and get started the way we did couldn't have been scripted any better way,'' Diericx said. ``We want put the message out quickly that this isn't going to be their night and we aren't going to let them hang around.''

Old faces: While Spartan coach Tom Robinson's numbers are lacking (28) he is encouraged with the return of seven players. They, he hopes, will help launch Orr in the right direction this season. ``This group coming back gives something to build around,'' Robinson said. ``With our numbers are low it means we will have to have a number of the young men step forward and make an impact.''

The keys for the Leafs: Offensive: Jake VerStraete, Jr. 6-5, 238 guard; Eric Schmitz, Sr. 6-3 197 split end. Defensive: Aaron Granell, Jr. 6-0, 225 DL.

The keys for the Spartans: Offensive: Donnell Gaston, Sr. 6-2, 240 FB; George Norfleet, So. 5-10, 175 QB; John Wynn, 6-3, 170 WR; Jonathan Chism, SO. 5-11, 160 WR; Defensive: Gaston, LB; Jason Ferrell, Sr. 5-11, 300 T; Derrick Rand, Sr. 6-1, 200 DL; Marcus Chism, Jr. 5-11, 245 DL.

How Diericx sees it: ``It's kind of another season opener because of the unknown factor. We have to execute our offense and take care of our defense. It really makes no difference who the opponent is because we have to play each down as well as we can. We're looking for improvement from week one to week two and with that improvement we can build on the momentum we established with the first win.''

How Robinson sees it: ``This will, without a doubt, be the toughest competition we'll face this year. It will be a game we can build on. We won't see anyone on our schedule who will compare to them in talent, team structure or traditions. We've had one scrimmage and fared very well and hopefully we can use it as a stepping stone onewe can back into our own conference schedule.''

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