Ford delivers on both sides of ball (+ Loyola team page)
Loyola's Luke Ford runs downs the sideline during Saturday's home game against Providence. | Patrick Gleason ~ For Sun-Times Media
This Week Loyola
BOYS CROSS COUNTRY
At Palatine, at Deer Grove, 9 a.m.
GIRLS CROSS COUNTRY
At Palatine at Deer Grove E., 9 a.m.
At OP-River Forest, 5 p.m.
At OP-River Forest, 8 a.m.
Hosts Lake Forest H.S. at Munz Campus, 4:30 p.m.
At Lane Tech vs. Gordon Tech, 1 p.m.
Hosts St. Laurence at Wilmette G.C., 4:15 p.m.
At Quad at Willow Glen G.C., 2 p.m.
At Lake Forest at Lake Bluff G.C., 9 a.m.
At Fenwick, 4:30 p.m.
At Highland Park at Sunset Valley G.C., 4 p.m.
Hosts Glenbrook North at Willow Glen G.C., noon
At New Trier at Merit Club, 4 p.m.
Hosts Providence at Munz Campus, 4:30 p.m.
Hosts Desmet Jesuit at Munz Campus, 10 a.m.
Hosts Gordon Tech at Munz Campus, 10 a.m.
At St. Ignatius, 4:30 p.m.
At Fenwick, 5 p.m.
At Fenwick, 1 p.m.
Hosts De La Salle, 4:30 p.m.
At Prospect at TBA, 8 a.m.
Hosts Glenbrook South, 4:30 p.m.
Hosts St. Ignatius, 6 p.m.
Hosts Mother McAuley, 6 p.m.
Updated: October 21, 2012 2:28PM
WILMETTE — The temptation for Loyola’s football coaches is to have Luke Ford on the field for as many snaps as possible.
In the preseason, Ramblers coach John Holecek called Ford “Mr. Clean-up” for his ability to limit the damage on defense from his spot in the secondary. Big and mobile at 6-foot-3 and 200 pounds, Ford is the unquestioned leader of a unit that has been integral to Loyola’s long playoff runs in recent seasons.
But this year, the senior has taken on added duties as one of the go-to receivers for quarterback Peter Pujals.
“We just put him in sporadically when we can,” Pujals said after the Ramblers’ 41-21 Catholic League Blue win over Providence Saturday. “He played in the Dallas (Jesuit) game, scored a touchdown.
“He’s a great athlete. When we can have him out there, it just helps our offense.”
That was certainly the case against the Celtics. Ford caught four passes for 119 yards, including 45-yarder that set up Loyola’s first score and a 56-yarder for the Ramblers’ second touchdown.
“He’s the best player on (Loyola’s) team,” Providence coach Mark Coglianese said. “We didn’t do a good job against him. That was just poor execution on our part.
“But I give him credit, he made a great play.”
Indeed. The passes Ford turned into long gains were screens.
“Coach told me about an hour before the game he was going to try to work in a few tunnels (passes) to me toward the beginning of the game,” Ford said. “And I know — I’ve seen it in practice — I know how well it works.
“You work on it in practice every day, all the linemen know they have to get out there and hit their blocks. It just worked to perfection today.”
That being the case, will Holecek make Ford more prominent in the Ramblers’ offense? That’s to be determined.
“I’ll see what the coach wants,” Ford said. “They’re always worried about tiring me out and getting worn down.”
That was an issue during the Dallas Jesuit game in Dublin, Ireland, in Week 2 when Ford was battling cramps.
“Hopefully I can handle it and they’re just going to give me what I can take for now. And we’ll see how it goes from there.”
Fatigue isn’t so much the issue, according to Ford, as much as the wear-and-tear on his body from playing both ways in a physical league like the Catholic Blue.
“It’s not so much the running back and forth that hurts,” he said.
“It’s getting hit on both sides of the ball and you just don’t get any rest from that. Don’t get me wrong, I love to hit. But I’d rather be the hitter than the hittee.”
Holecek understands that.
“The colder the weather gets, the better it’s going to be for him,” the coach said. “He can’t come off the field. He’s a star, a bona fide star. ... If he can be in there, he’s going to be.”
Names and Faces
Noteworthy efforts: The junior runner paced Loyola at Detweiller Park in Peoria on Saturday by finishing 87th in 18:57 as the Ramblers placed 19th with 574 points. Sarah Kelly (97th, 19:01), Caroline Zaworski (115th, 19:11), Jackie McDonnell (152nd, 19:30) and Amanda Bombard (163rd, 19:34) followed.
Noteworthy efforts: The senior led the way for Loyola on Saturday at the Richard Spring Invitational at Peoria’s Detweiller Park by taking 98th in 15:46. The Ramblers finished 26th with 732 points. Teddy Brombach (152nd, 16:07), Matt Randolph (163rd, 16:10), Spencer Kelly (163rd, 16:10) and Chris Kelly (175th, 16:13) completed the scoring.
332 | Score shot by Loyola’s girls golf team Saturday to take second place — 16 shots back of New Trier — at Eisenhower’s invitational in Decatur. The Ramblers tee it up again Friday at Sunset Valley against Highland Park, one of the top teams on the North Shore.
“I played well, but I still made three double bogeys. I was hitting at the pins, but the shots were going over the greens and into trouble. It’s not like I played poorly.”
— Loyola junior Michael Abrahamson, explaining his Saturday round of 78 at Chevy Chase Country Club, where the Ramblers finished eighth after shooting a 311.
Boys soccer: Ramblers host Desmet Jesuit (Mo.), 10 a.m.
Loyola gets out of its comfort zone and hosts the team from the St. Louis area. The game is the start of a busy stretch for the Ramblers, who will play five games in eight days.
Girls tennis: Ramblers at Prospect’s invitational, 8 a.m.
Led by senior Jennie Gault, senior Hannah Post and junior Nora Hughes, Loyola is one of several local teams at the tournament, including New Trier, last year’s runner-up at the state meet.
Culture Grid: Michael Hultquist
The senior golfer led the Ramblers with a 75 at Chevy Chase Country Club on Saturday and then again with a 35 at Evanston Country Club on Monday in a tri-match against Evanston and St. Ignatius.
What TV show are you watching right now? “ ‘House.’ I think Hugh Laurie plays a fascinating character, and it’s a fun drama to watch.”
What was the last good movie you watched in the theaters? “That Batman movie was pretty thrilling.”
What music have you been listening to lately? “Pretty much whatever is on the radio, mainstream stuff. I do like Mumford & Sons.”
Which class are you enjoying the most? “Probably economics. That’s what I am going into in the future, so that first class is pretty valuable to me. The teacher is involved and knows what he’s doing.”