It was a night when the scoreboard didn't tell the whole story for Maine West.
The Warriors, who found themselves on the short end of a 41-3 game Friday in Des Plaines against Central Suburban conference leader Glenbrook North, still came away with many positives.
"Hats off to GBN," Maine West coach Chris Hare said. "You can understand why they are tops in conference. I am proud of our kids and how hard they played tonight."
Maine West ran nearly twice the plays (65 to 34) than Glenbrook North. The Warriors were outgained 409 to 285 yards, but it was the ability of Glenbrook North (6-1, 3-0) to convert big plays and capitalize on Maine West turnovers that turned out to be the difference.
"We had some opportunities early," Hare said. "But we came up short when we needed to convert. And then they came up with the big plays when they needed them."
Maine West (1-6, 0-3) turned the ball over on the second play of the game at its own 26. Two plays later, Grant Rushing ran 27 yards to make it 7-0.
Maine West got its offense in gear later in the first quarter. Operating behind Tom Heldak, Brian Cutro, Danny Cardamone, Kyle Cook and Sean Burke, the Warriors drove 53 yards to the Spartan 14-yard line. Tomasz Ksiazkewicz kicked a 30-yard field goal to make it 7-3.
But Glenbrook North's big play game then began to take effect. Josh Simone returned the ensuing kickoff 86 yards for a touchdown. Later AJ Spitz would break off 45-yard touchdown run. Spitz also threw a 17-yard touchdown pass to David Burnside with two seconds left in the first half as the Spartans led 27-3 at the half.
Despite being down at the half, Maine West came out strong when play resumed.
After stopping a Glenbrook North drive at their own 28, the Warriors marched to the Spartans' one-yard line. But John Manicke was turned away at the goal line on fourth down.
"We did a great job of controlling the ball and the clock," Hare said. "We just need to finish."
Rushing did just that on the Spartans' next series. The Glenbrook North senior, who gained over 400 yards last week, showed his breakaway ability. He went off tackle for 97 yards to put the game out of reach. He would finish the game with 197 yards on 12 carries.
The Spartans added a touchdown late in the fourth quarter to ice the game
"The scoreboard didn't show how well we did tonight," said Maine West quarterback Matt Swanson. "We had some good drives going and we definitely moved the ball well. "We just couldn't punch it in when we got in the red zone."
"The holes were there and I didn't have to do that much to find them," said Manicke, who finished with 126 yards on 22 carries. "The offensive line did a pretty good job of blocking for us."