The news site of Evanston Township High School's student newspaper

The Evanstonian

The news site of Evanston Township High School's student newspaper

The Evanstonian

The news site of Evanston Township High School's student newspaper

The Evanstonian

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Sophomore RB finds end zone twice, leads football to victory in season opener

Evanston Township High School’s Michael Pryor’s quick acclimation to varsity speed fuels Wildkits to win over Zion Benton, 21-7
Sophomore+RB+finds+end+zone+twice%2C+leads+football+to+victory+in+season+opener
Adrian Garton

As Evanston’s #2 bulldozed his way into the endzone for his second rushing touchdown of the night, many students and fans watching the game were left wondering, “Who is that?”

That player was running back Michael Pryor—one of just a few sophomores on the varsity football team—who led the Kits over the ZeeBees of Zion Benton, 21-7, in the season opener.

After marching down the field in the opening drive, Pryor took the direct snap and battled his way 17 yards into the endzone to cap off an impressive opening drive. Despite scoring, Pryor tweaked his ankle on the way to the endzone and hobbled off the field.

“It was really painful because my ankle was so messed up after the play. I thought it broke when somebody showed me the clip … but I’m okay,” Pryor said. “It felt really good to help my teammates score for the first time on varsity.”

After another promising drive later in the quarter, Pryor rolled over a defender at the goal line for a two-yard score. By this point, he knew the transition from freshman to varsity football had been complete.

“It’s definitely a lot faster. But at the same time, I’ve gotten faster over the months so it felt like the same speed to me, just more aggressive,” said Pryor.

The Kits (1-0) are coming off of a 4-5 season, while the ZeeBees (0-1) finished with a grim 2-8 record last year. With ETHS only returning two offensive starters, it was inevitable that the game would become a defensive battle.

Deep into the second quarter, Zion Benton’s QB Ramar Hudson launched a deep ball that went in and out of senior cornerback Keron Pryor’s grasp and fell into the hands of wide receiver Rmoni Beals, who took it 76 yards to the house. Aside from this, the Kits’ defense kept Zion Benton out of rhythm and in their own territory for the majority of the night. Evanston was able to force two turnovers.

On the offensive side of the ball, junior Colin Livatino made his first career varsity start. Late in the fourth quarter, Livatino dropped a touch pass off to the senior Pryor, a two-way player who weaved his way into the endzone for a 17-yard score. Splitting time at cornerback and wide receiver, the senior Pryor was a key factor for Evanston on both sides of the ball all night.

Despite the victory, there were numerous bad snaps, broken plays and penalties on the Kits that they will work to improve upon before conference play.

“Miss blocks, miscommunication, knowing the plays and knowing the count, penalties. We need to clean all of that up,” stated Michael Pryor.

ETHS (1-0) will next face Lincoln-Way Central (1-0) next Friday night on Lazier Field.

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About the Contributor
Will Klearman, Opinion Columnist
Hey everyone! I’m Will Klearman (he/him) and this year I am an opinion columnist as well as a sports writer. I am a sophomore and this is my second year on staff. Being on The Evanstonian is great because it allows me to get an inside look on the sports at ETHS. I also love getting my opinion out there. Outside of The Evanstonian, I enjoy hanging out with friends, playing tennis and watching sports!
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