Quinn Orlandi only took 3 snaps in his junior season, but Hersey's starting quarterback insisted he was ready for his first varsity start.
"I was well-prepared," Orlandi said. "We have a great coaching staff and we had a great summer. I felt very confident coming into this game."
With Orlandi showing a wide array of skills on offense and a fast defense registering 6 sacks, Hersey routed visiting Glenbrook North 49-13 at Roland Goins Stadium in the season opener for both teams Friday.
At 6-feet-4, Orlandi will be expected to throw quite a bit. And he did, as his 197 yards resulted in 4 touchdown passes.
But Orlandi, who sat out the fourth quarter with the game in hand, also showed he can be a dual threat as he ran for 78 yards and 2 more scores.
"He's a good athlete," said Hersey coach Dragan Teonic. "He doesn't look like it because he's so tall, but he can move. He did a nice job managing the offense and basically called the plays himself for the entire game. We call the formation and he puts us in the best play possible."
Orlandi's favorite targets were Ed Miklasz (4 catches, 49 yards, 3 TD) and David Jackowski (8 catches, 96 yards, 2 TD).
After a three-and-out to open the game, Orlandi found Jackowski for a 7-yard score with 5:11 left in the first quarter. Mario Thomas had 43 rushing yards on the drive to put the Huskies in position to score.
Glenbrook North answered with a 16-yard touchdown on a hook-and-lateral play to open the second quarter but Orlandi and the offense really hit their stride with 21 second quarter points.
"The first drive was a little slow, but we started feeling it and they just couldn't stop us," Orlandi said.
Lead in hand, the Huskies defense set out to pressure Spartans' quarterback AJ Spitz as much as possible. Grant Burke had 3 sacks and guys like Nate Fakhouri, Matt Korff, Ed Beyer and Jim Thomsen were in on seemingly every play.
"I'm really proud of the defensive effort," Teonic said. "I don't know how many negative plays we had, but it was beautiful."