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updated: 8/26/2011 11:23 PM

Basara keys Elk Grove's second-half surge

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By Michael Eaken
Daily Herald Correspondent

Elk Grove entered Friday night with 11 new starters on offense, including senior quarterback Dejan Basara, who was replacing 2010 all-area quarterback Nick Meyer.

But the Grenadiers and Basara didn't miss a beat in cruising 39-12 opening night nonconference football victory over host Highland Part at Wolters Field.

Basara rushed for 122 yards on 22 carries with 3 touchdowns and the senior completed 11 of 16 passes for 135 yards and two additional scores in leading the Grenadiers' attack.

"I just wanted stay calm and positive, and keep my poise," said Basara, who also started at linebacker on defense. "The line did a great job blocking and the running backs and receivers did their part."

Highland Park fumbled on the opening kick off with Elk Grove's Stefan Skoneczka recovering leading to a 23-yard field goal by Basara.

Highland Park quarterback Max Mordini (9-for-22, 110 yards) found Nate Echt for a 22 yard score early in the second quarter, but Basara scored on runs of 6 yards and 2 yards to give Elk Grove a 17-6 lead.

Mordini found Andrew Siedd for a 20-yard score, narrowing the Giants' deficit to 17-12 at halftime.

But it was all Elk Grove in the second half.

Basara hit senior Darren Little with a 10-yard score. The 6-foot-1 205 pound quarterback then rumbled for a 41-yard gain to set up a 1-yard score, and the Grens senior completed his night by finding Fernando Lozano with 41-yard touchdown.

"Dejan has been waiting for this for awhile, he is a different type of quarterback," said Elk Grove coach Brian Doll of his senior leader. "We took advantage of his skills tonight. He's a big kid and has a linebacker mentality."

Defense lineman Greg Johnson and Johnny Assimakopoulos, and safety Jeff Miceli spurred an Elk Grove defense that limited the Giants to 50 total yards in the second half.

"We were right in the game at halftime," said Highland Park coach Hal Chiodo, "but in the second half they turned it up a notch, and we did not."