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updated: 9/29/2012 7:32 PM

Everson, defense propel Bartlett past Lake Park

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  • Bartlett's Aaron Everson slips through the fingers of Lake Park's Kevin Teglia during second quarter action at Millennium Field in Streamwood on Saturday.

       Bartlett's Aaron Everson slips through the fingers of Lake Park's Kevin Teglia during second quarter action at Millennium Field in Streamwood on Saturday.
    Laura Stoecker | Staff Photographer

  • Bartlett's Kevin Kirchhoff tackles Lake Park's Scott Filip during first quarter action at Millennium Field in Streamwood on Saturday.

       Bartlett's Kevin Kirchhoff tackles Lake Park's Scott Filip during first quarter action at Millennium Field in Streamwood on Saturday.
    Laura Stoecker | Staff Photographer

 
 

Bartlett jumped to a 3-touchdown lead in the first half against Lake Park and its defense stepped up repeatedly to deny the oncoming Lancers in the second half of a 21-13 Upstate Eight Valley victory at Millennium Field Saturday.

Bartlett (4-2, 2-1) bolted to a 21-0 lead via 3 first-half touchdown runs by senior tailback Aaron Everson. He rushed for 251 yards on 36 carries, including a 95-yard burst for the first score of the game, thereby upping his season totals to 1,193 yards and 19 scores.

Lake Park (2-4, 1-2) notched a touchdown 27.8 seconds before halftime on a 24-yard pass from Zack Gehant to Jimmy Strauss and pulled within 8 points on the last play of the third quarter, thanks to Kevin Teglia's 18-yard scoring reception.

The game came down to a goal-line stand after Lake Park linebacker Ronnie Castaldo picked off a Kyle Garcia pass on third-and-long at the Bartlett 27-yard line and returned it to the 6 with 3:44 to play.

An illegal procedure call backed the Lancers up 5 yards. Then a 2-yard Gehant run, an incomplete pass and an 8-yard run by Curtwan Evans set up fourth-and-goal with 2:34 remaining.

Gehant tried to sneak it in for a touchdown that would have brought the Lancers within a 2-point conversion of a tie, but third-year linebacker Kevin Kirchhoff and the Bartlett defensive line gang tackled the Lake Park senior quarterback for no gain.

"The kids stepped up and did a great job," Bartlett coach Tom Meaney said of a defense that forced 4 turnovers. "They're gassed, but they did a heck of a job for us, everything from the linebackers to pressure from the line and the defensive backs not letting them get behind them. It was awesome."

Bartlett subsequently sealed the game 3 plays later. On third-and-9 from his own 2-yard line, Kirchhoff rumbled 32 yards for a game-clinching first down with 53 seconds left.

"That was thanks to my offensive line," Kirchhoff said. "They set up that big hole. They were keying Everson, so when I got my chance to run I was like, 'I need to make a play for my teammates.'"

The Lancers had their chances to inflict more damage earlier, but Gehant was intercepted 3 times, all in the second half and all deep in Bartlett territory. Those miscues offset the 3 turnovers the Lake Park defense forced after halftime.

Bartlett senior Mitch Reid intercepted a pass at his own 23, Kirchhoff snared a pick at his own 4-yard line and returned it 28 yards, and senior Nick Andreucetti squashed a fourth-quarter drive with an interception at his own 18-yard line.

"I saw their inside receiver running an inside vertical (pattern)," Kirchhoff said in describing his interception. "I'm taught as a linebacker to stay with that inside vertical. I knew right then because he was open that (Gehant) was going to try to get it there. He lofted it up, and luckily I got there in time to pick it off. Our defense tries to get three (turnovers) a game. Four is good."

Lake Park's 4 turnovers, coupled with a first-quarter fumble on first-and-goal at the Bartlett 3-yard line, made for a frustrating afternoon for the Lancers,

"We had a lot of sloppy plays, turnovers that killed us," Lake Park coach Chris Roll said. "The game started with a 14-point turnaround. If we're up 7-0, it's a whole different game. The play was wide open and our best tailback fumbled the ball for no reason. Zack's had 2 interceptions on the year and 16 touchdowns, and he had 3 interceptions today. Those are things we can't afford against a physical team like Bartlett."

Lake Park must win its remaining games against South Elgin, Neuqua Valley and East Aurora to have a shot at the postseason.

"We've just got to get back to work," said Teglia, who made 2 circuslike catches among his 8 receptions for 98 yards. "We're not out yet. We've got to win out now."

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