Titans beat Oak Forest for first time since 2011

Titans beat Oak Forest for first time since 2011

By: Phil Arvia, Tinley Junction

In an alternate universe, Joe Mackessy and Christian Law might have been helping Oak Forest beat Tinley Park, instead of the other way around.

 Instead, Law caught two of Mackessy’s four touchdown passes as the Oak Forest natives helped the Titans roll to their first win over the Bengals since 2011, 42-28, on Friday, Sept. 13.

 Law’s first grab, a 15-yarder while leaping at the back of the end zone, was the first score in a game in which the Titans never trailed.

 “We called the play, Joe looked at me, I looked at him, and I knew he was going to throw me a touchdown,” Law, who transferred to Tinley Park from St. Rita after last football season, said. “It means a lot for these guys. We haven’t beaten Oak Forest for seven years — and we worked hard for this all summer.

 Law, who added a 39-yard scoring catch and a two-point conversion reception to make it 28-14 just before the half, played his first organized football with the Oak Forest Raiders. Mackessy, who completed 14-of-21 passes for 283 yards, grew up in Oak Forest and went to Arbor Park Middle School for two months of his eighth -grade year before his family moved to Tinley Park and he switched schools.

 Unlike Law, Mackessy played in one of those seven straight losses.

 “We were very aware (of the streak) — the coaches didn’t have to say much,” Mackessy said. “It’s Oak Forest. We hype ourselves up.

 “That game last year was on me — I threw a pick at the end. This year is the bounce back.”

 The Titans (1-2, 1-0 in the South Suburban Blue) were impressive on offense for the third straight week. Jojo Gallegos (26 carries, 156 yards, touchdown runs of 13 and 2 yards) was the Tinley ground game, while Mackessy found Evan King (from 19 yards out) and Johnny Gonsalves (from 67) for his other passing scores.

 Meanwhile, the Titans’ struggling defense pitched shutouts in the first and third quarters against the Bengals (0-3, 0-1).

 “They stepped up and did their job,” Tinley Park coach Josh O’Shea said. “I know (Oak Forest) put 28 points on the board, but if we’re an offense-led football team, get us the ball back — and they did that. All phases played real well tonight.”

Next up for Tinley is its homecoming game against South Suburban Conference crossover foe Oak Lawn (0-3) at 7 pm, Friday, Sept. 20.


 OAK FOREST  0  14  0  14  — 28

TINLEY PARK  6  22  14  0 —  42


1. Joe Mackessy, Tinley Park QB — 283 yards, 4 TD passing

2. Jojo Gallegos, Tinley Park RB — 156 yards, 2 TD rushing

3. Christian Law, Tinley Park WR — 54 yards, 2 TD receiving

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