He owned the field.
Or, so it seemed.
Loyola Academy inside linebacker Anthony Rodriguez has been a special player for some time.
The senior — known to his friends as A-Rod — was extra special in LA’s 28-7 victory over visiting Brother Rice on Oct. 21.
LA won its eighth straight game and wrapped up the Chicago Catholic League Blue Division title. The 8-1 Ramblers will host New Trier (6-3) in a Class 8A state playoff game on Oct. 28 at 2 p.m.
Rodriguez was euphoric after the win.
“Felt stronger. Felt faster,” he said. “I laid it all on the field today.
“I knew Brother Rice would try everything to beat us,” No. 32 added.
Rodriguez was all over the field. He finished the contest with 13 tackles. Four of those stops went for losses.
A-Rod’s season has been a little uneven. He sat out two games — Fenwick and St. Francis — due to concussion protocol.
“I’m real excited to be back,” Rodriguez said. “I wanted to play in those two games. But it was necessary to take precautions.”
LA’s other defensive stalwarts against Brother Rice (2-7) were Armoni Dixon (3 tackles, 10-yard quarterback sack), Christopher Scott (6 tackles, 1 tackle for loss, 1 fumble recovery), Patrick Daniels (5 tackles, 1 TFL), Charlie Largay (5 tackles, 1 TFL) and Patrick Russell (interception).
LA’s Game Balls: Anthony Rodriguez (LB), Christopher Scott (LB), Armoni Dixon (LB), James Joyce (WR), Hamid Bullie (RB), Quinn Boyle (QB)
BR’s Game Balls: Dale Williams (RB), Arthur Veal (TE)
LA’s Offensive Player of the Game: Joyce
LA’s Defensive Player of the Game: Rodriguez
LA’s Offensive Stat Leaders:
— Joyce (5 catches, 98 yards, 43-yard TD catch, 21-yard TD catch)
— Bullie (6 rushes, 74 yards, 25-yard TD run)
— Boyle (5 rushes, 33 yards; 4-5-0 passing, 105 yards, 2 TDs)
— Rory Boos (2 catches, 41 yards)
— Dillon Grant (20-yard TD catch)
— John Fallon (8-17-0 passing, 108 yards, 1 TD)
— John Gierut (5 rushes, 32 yards)
— Vernon Green (7 rushes, 32 yards)
BR’s Offensive Stat Leaders:
— Williams (7 rushes, 36 yards)
— Veal (2 catches, 44 yards)
— Evan Sullivan (10-18-1, 74 yards, 1 TD)
— John Somers (14-yard TD catch)
— Davion Ervin-Poindexter (15 rushes, 29 yards)
LA’s Defensive Stat Leaders:
— Rodriguez (13 tackles, 4 tackles for loss)
— Scott (6 tackles, 1 TFL, 1 fumble recovery)
— Dixon (3 tackles, 10-yard QB sack)
— Patrick Daniels (5 tackles, 1 TFL)
— Charlie Largay (5 tackles, 1 TFL)
— Edward Eastman (1 TFL)
— Patrick Russell (1 interception)
LA’s Unsung Heroes: Edward Auer. Quinn McCarthy
Notable: LA quarterback Quinn Boyle certainly showed off a strong arm. He threw into a stiff wind on both of his touchdown passes to James Joyce. … Senior wideout Dillon Grant made a spectacular leaping grab on his 20-yard TD catch from backup quarterback John Fallon with 46 seconds left in the first half. “Grant runs good routes. He’s a dependable possession receiver,” said LA head coach John Holecek. … Hamid Bullie was hard to bring down. He ran the ball six times for 74 yards. His play of the day was 25-yard TD run on LA’s second series.