SHOWDOWN TO SHEPARD
Burrell runs for 2 TDs as the Astros eliminate the Argonauts from playoff contention
Watching thewayArgoranthe football out of its flexbone offense Friday night fired up Shepard'sKorey Burrell.
“Oh my God, they ran it well,” Burrell said. “I was on the sideline watching (Argo quarterback Alex Harris), and he was a really good player.
“So when I got my chance to get the ball, IknewI had to shine. I had to go get my team touchdowns.”
And that's what Burrell did. The senior running back rushed for 180 yards and two TDs to lift visiting Shepard to a 40-28 South Suburban Red win.
Argo (4-5, 2-4) ran for 383 yards against the Astros (7-2, 5-1). Harris finished with 139 yards and a TD on 20 carries, while ArturoMarquez ran for 129 yards and two TDs.
The Argonauts, though, came up short in their bid for their first playoff berth since 2013.
Burrell was a big reason why as he ran for TDs of 16 and 47 yards in the first half.
After Elijah Vinson recovered a fumble at the Shepard 5-yard line with 7:55 to go, Burrell chewed up much of the remaining time as the Astros were clinging to a 34-28 lead.
Burrell ran for three first downs on the ensuing drive to set up quarterback Kevin Graham's 7-yardTDrun that sealed the win with 2:23 left.
It was the second TD run for Graham, who also threw a TD pass to Yousef Isa.
“We knew they needed to win to make the playoffs, and we know some of the guys on their team, but in the game of football there aren't any friends,” Burrell said. “We all have the same goals and I feel like we worked harder to get this win.”
This season is Burrell's first at running back after he previously played wide receiver and defensive back.
“Korey's really picked it up over the last three weeks,” Shepard coach John Rone said. “Now that he has some experience, he's really getting it. The young man has been very good for us.”
Down34-28, Argo reached the Shepard 1-yard line before committing a false-start penalty. The fumble that Vinson recovered followed.
“We were playing hard and when they fumbled, we had to dive on it,” Vinson said. “They were a hardteamto stop, soitwas huge to get that fumble.”
Argo, meanwhile, was left to wonder what could have been.
“We fumbled the ball at a bad spot and Shepard took advantage,” Argo coach Tim Connelly said. “Our kids gave it everything they had. I couldn't be prouder of them.”
SteveMillar is a freelance reporter for the Daily Southtown.