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Jake Dorrance is expecting plenty of relatives at Friday’s game against Hinsdale Central. The only question is what side of the field they will sit.
Dorrance is hoping they will be with the Hinsdale South fans, but it’s likely the Willowbrook family will be split for the 31st annual Doings Cup football game between District 86 schools Hinsdale Central and Hinsdale South. Kickoff is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. Friday in Darien.
For the first time, South senior center Jake Dorrance will be playing against his father’s team. Veteran coach Tom Dorrance is the defensive coordinator for Central, but Jake Dorrance didn’t play in last year’s showdown because he missed much of the regular season with a concussion.
Jake Dorrance got doctor’s approval to play this season and has helped revive the Hornets (3-3), who have won three straight games after starting 0-3.
Meanwhile, the Devils (3-3) have dropped back-to-back games in the WSC Silver. Central holds an 18-12 edge in the series, including 11 wins in a row going back to South’s last victory, 35-27 in 2001.
Both father and son are trying to maintain a business-as-usual attitude.
“It’s going to be like any other week except my dad is preparing for the same game,” Jake Dorrance said. “I’m excited about this game.”
Already Jake has heard from a couple of cousins and his grandmother who plan to be in the stands. Jake’s mother Janet also intends to be at the game, along with at least two of his four brothers.
“Honestly, my family has been looking forward to it more than I am,” Tom Dorrance said. “I’ve been preparing for another opponent, it just happens that my son will be playing.”
On Sunday night, Tom Dorrance watched video of Hinsdale South’s no-huddle spread offense on hudl.com. After speaking with a few assistant coaches, he started making a list of offensive plays for the scout team to run at Monday’s practice.
He estimates he watches nearly 12 hours of video every Sunday while preparing for an opponent and goes to bed around midnight.
Jake Dorrance’s responsibility on Friday will be to open holes against his dad’s defense.
Hinsdale Central runs a 3-5-3 scheme with ends Kyle Stiff and Ian Bunting. At nose guard, the Devils rotate 6-foot, 205-pound senior Danny Frasca and 6-3, 270-pound junior Tristen Nevotne.
The 6-1, 190-pound Jake Dorrance will attempt to block Nevotne, who also plays left guard. Tristen is one of the few juniors in Tom Dorrance’s pre-calculus class, which includes mostly seniors.
In other words, Tristen will be graded twice this week by Tom Dorrance.
“I knew his son was playing football at South,” Nevotne said. “He talks about his kids, but I was not sure he said (his son) played on the line.”