Nearly three hours after an Opening Night football game, which started almost an hour late due to lightning in the area, Andrew Bohlmann made another great play.
The Palatine senior defensive back, who earlier had a key interception, handed his new charcoal-colored helmet to his 10-year-old brother, Joey, who put it on.
Decked out in new uniforms, which also featured charcoal pants, white jerseys and red numerals, Palatine looked sharp in outlasting host Libertyville 25-6 on Friday night.
The game marked the first for the Pirates under new coach Rick Splitt.
"I think they're pretty sick," Bohlmann said of the slick threads, not the stormy pregame weather, which wiped out most of the football in Lake County.
Palatine's first-half defensive effort was also sickly good.
Libertyville marched 54 yards on 13 plays on its first series, but stalled at the Palatine 31. The Wildcats' second possession came thanks to Zach Herr's fumble recovery at the Libertyville 40, but the hosts went three-and-out.
Libertyville's Tim Grote recovered yet another Palatine fumble in the first quarter, giving his team the ball at the Palatine 15. But Bohlmann intercepted senior quarterback Anthony Monken, who was making his first varsity start, at the 2.
Libertyville, which picked up 4 first downs on its opening drive, never registered another first down the rest of the half.
"We were pretty jacked up before the game," Bohlmann said. "We know our defense has a lot of speed, but we knew they were a pretty good offense, especially last year. We just prepared well, watched film and (executed)."
Speedy running back Chaka Kelly (18 carries, 85 yards) put Palatine on the board with a 15-yard run with 8:26 left before halftime. Elusive junior QB Nick Orlando capped a 6-play, 67-yard drive on the Pirates' next possession, as he bounced outside and scored from 22 yards out.
Palatine then got its third score with just 13 seconds left in the half, as Orlando hit 6-foot-3 Eric Theis in the corner of the end zone from 7 yards out to make it 19-0.
Libertyville scored on its first possession of the second half, as Conor Simpson (18 carries, 95 yards) bulled his way into the end zone from 2 yards out, but the Wildcats struggled offensively the rest of the game. Edward Miller's fumble recovery led to Orlando's 51-yard TD screen pass to Christopher Cornelius in the fourth quarter.
"Missed opportunities," said Libertyville coach Mike Jones, who alternated QBs Monken and sophomore Riley Lees. "You got to capitalize on those (turnovers)."
Orlando threw for 179 yards and rushed for 75.
"He's very athletic," Jones said.