High school football: Simeon’s ‘Blue Machine’ takes down No. 5 Bolingbrook

Simeon danced off the field at Gately Stadium on Saturday as its fans chanted “We have a machine.”

The Blue Machine was celebrating a victory that established the Wolverines as a force to be reckoned with in the state and returned some respect to Public League football.

Quarterback Keshaun Parker provided the big moment, scampering six yards for a touchdown with 1:28 left to give the Wolverines a 34-31 win against No. 5 Bolingbrook.

“I couldn’t find any of my receivers so I knew I had to make something happen,” Parker said.

Simeon senior Jaykwon Armour sealed the win about 40 seconds later, ending Bolingbrook’s drive with an interception at the goal line.

Simeon coach Dante Culbreath was quietly confident in his team in the preseason. He’s been impressed by his team’s work ethic the first two weeks of the season.

“Bolingbrook is a heck of a team but we’ve been preparing,” Simeon coach Dante Culbreath said. “We are just going to keep working. [The kids] don’t take any days off and they give me their all.”

Wolverines running back Andre Crews had his breakout game last week when he racked up nearly 300 yards in a win against Wheaton-Warrenville South.

He was just as dominant against the Raiders with 28 carries for 237 yards and four touchdowns.

“He’s the best running back in the state in my eyes,” Parker said.

Cincinnati recruit Malik Elzy was another force for Simeon, putting up a Player of the Year performance for the second consecutive week. He had nine receptions for 136 yards and had a sack while playing defense.

“We just have to maintain our focus and stay humble,” Crews said.

The game featured six lead changes and two ties.

“[Simeon] played hard, give them credit,” Bolingbrook coach John Ivlow said. “I’m not going to take anything away from that team. When then beat Wheaton-Warrenville South they raised some eyebrows. Simeon is pretty darn good. We knew going into it we needed to stop [Crews] and we didn’t.”

Bolingbrook (1-1) was unable to establish a running attack. Kelrod Leaks’ 41-yard run in the first half accounted for almost all of the Raiders’ 52 rushing yards.

Bolingbrook freshman quarterback Jonas Williams was 15-for-22 passing for 203 yards with three touchdowns and two interceptions. He threw seven touchdown passes in Week 1 against Minooka.

“Last week he was the talk of the town,” Ivlow said. “This week we knew they were going to sit back in a zone or send the house on him. They sent the house at him but he still did well.”

Senior Kyan Berry-Johnson had five catches for 98 yards and three touchdowns for Bolingbrook.

Simeon’s win will change the perception of Public League football this season and set up major showdowns with Kenwood and Morgan Park.

Kenwood has defeated Glenbard North and Bradley-Bourbonnais this season and Morgan Park has knocked off Richards and Rich.

“There are some very competitive teams in the Public League this year,” Culbreath said. “Kenwood and Morgan Park can compete. Our league is getting better. This is a big bounce back from last year with COVID and all that. But we’ve still got some work to do.”

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