Football: Lightning strikes, forces delay across area

The Oswego at Batavia football game, suspended by lightning Friday, was postponed until 6 p.m. Saturday.

The teams were tied 7-7 with 4:30 remaining in the first quarter when lightning moved into the area and public address announcer instructed fans in the packed stadium to evacuate the facility and move to their cars or the school’s fieldhouse.

The announcement came at 7:54 p.m. and one hour and eight minutes later came the announcement that the game would be suspended and resumed the next day.

This scene played out many times Friday night for teams from the Aurora Beacon-News, Elgin Courier-News and Naperville Sun coverage areas.

The offense for each team started strong, scoring on its first possession.

Oswego junior quarterback Steven Frank completed a 9-yard scoring pass to tight end Joe Hennessy to complete a five-play 68-yard drive on the opening possession. It was highlighted by a 37-yard run by senior running back Treshon Weddington and aided by a pass interference penalty.

Batavia senior quarterback Evan Acosta, making his first career start, answered by directing a nine-play 88-yard scoring drive that was capped by a 28-yard TD pass to junior wide receiver Canaan Coffey on a slant route.

Acosta was 5-for-5 passing for 78 yards on the drive.

Hampshire-Burlington Central

Local rivals Hampshire and Burlington Central will have to wait until Saturday to claim bragging rights as lightning delayed the nonconference matchup in front of a packed stadium crowd at Hampshire.

With 6:28 left in the first quarter and Burlington Central leading 6-0, the game was suspended. Play was called at 8:45 p.m.

The Rockets’ Jason Beranga dove in from the 2 on the game’s third play following a 71-yard gain on halfback pass from Trevor Davison to Ryan Anderson. Davison took a pitch from quarterback Rob Duomont, sprinted right, then found Anderson wide open behind a surprised Whip-Pur defense.

Hampshire did have one scoring opportunity, driving to the Central 10 following a 26-yard scamper by Devontae Johnson. But an apparent 11-yard TD run by Hampshire quarterback Nick Molhman was called back for clipping and the Whip-Purs eventually turned the ball over on downs.

The game will resume 10:30 a.m., with the Rockets in possession of the ball with a second-and-11 at their 45.

Dundee-Crown vs. Elgin

Friday’s Dundee-Crown at Elgin nonconference game was postponed due to lightning and has been rescheduled for 5 p.m. Saturday at Elgin’s Memorial Field.

The game never kicked off. Players had finished warmups after the Dundee-Crown sophomores beat Elgin 42-12, and both sides were lined up for the opening kickoff when officials saw lightning and sent both sides to the locker rooms. Fans were sent to Elgin’s Chesbrough Field House.

The game can’t be played at 1 p.m. Saturday because McHenry and Larkin are scheduled to use Memorial Field at that time, so Elgin and D-C will follow at 5 p.m.

Plainfield North-Metea Valley

The lightning that was still crackling through the skies over Metea Valley long after its season opener against Plainfield North was postponed was not a welcome sight for the Mustangs.

The Mustangs came out strong, taking a quick 7-0 lead, forcing a turnover and knocking on the door of another score when the game was halted. An hour later, it was postponed to Saturday at 6 p.m., where the game will continue where it left off, with Metea possessing the ball on Plainfield North’s 15 with a first-and-10.

“Just a little adversity,” Metea coach Ben Kleinhans said. “We have to be a team this year that pushes through adversity. Bottom line is we’re going to come out tomorrow at the 15 on the left hash. We want the game to be 14-0. We just have to have a great approach. This is not a negative. This is a good thing, get some rest, come out and do it again.”

Metea opened the game with an eight-play, 80-yard scoring drive that culminated in a 1-yard touchdown run for Bryson Oliver. He also had gains of 34 and 15 yards on the drive, carrying seven times for 68 yards total.

On Plainfield North’s fourth play from scrimmage, Tigers quarterback JD Ekowa was picked off by Metea junior Reggie Hill. Oliver runs of 17 and 13 yards set the Mustangs up at the Tigers’ 15 when lightning was spotted.

Oliver already has 101 yards on 10 carries as play resumes Saturday.

Waubonsie Valley-Naperville Central

Apparently, Mother Nature doesn’t want Waubonsie Valley and Naperville Central to play on Friday nights.

For the second straight year, the season opener between the two schools was postponed until Saturday due to stormy weather.

Last year, they didn’t even get started. At least this time they played, albeit briefly.

Still, Naperville Central had enough time to put itself on the verge of scoring on the opening drive. After a nice kickoff return from Emmanuel Rugamba and several big runs from Kevin Clifford (four carries, 42 yards), the Redhawks moved the ball down to the Warriors’ 1 before the referees delayed the game due to lightning and thunder with 9:52 remaining in the first quarter.

New quarterback Conor Joyce also completed a six-yard pass to Rugamba during the drive.

After nearly a 45-minute delay, it was determined the game would be postponed until Saturday. It will now be played on Saturday at 7 p.m., and once again at Waubonsie Valley.

The Redhawks prevailed during last year’s weather-forced reschedule, 23-10.

Rick Armstrong, Thom Baumann-Neylon, Gene Chamberlain, Paul Johnson contributed to this story.

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