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updated: 9/7/2013 12:51 AM

Hersey hangs tough, edges Palatine

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By Michael Eaken
Daily Herald Correspondent

Thanks to a persistent running game and a tough defense, Hersey is still rolling.

The Huskies had cruised in their opener at Glenbrook North but had to grind it out against tough Palatine in Week 2.

Hersey overcame 2 touchdowns that were called back due to penalties, and junior Will Trossen kicked the game-winning field goal with 7:36 remaining giving the Huskies a 17-14 Mid-Suburban League crossover victory over Palatine in Arlington Heights.

Hersey improved to 2-0 and has shown it can win both one-sided and close games. The Huskies overcame 11 penalties, including a number of holding calls, to gain the victory

"I thought we battled," said Hersey coach Dragan Teonic. "I know we fought, and that is what you have to do against good teams. We still have things we can clean up -- especially those holding calls."

Senior Mario Thomas (15 carries for108 yards) and senior Kyle Polinski ( 20 carries for 95 yards) gave the offense a lift, combining for 204 yards rushing.

Senior linebacker Grant Burke led a defense that limited a Palatine offense to 220 yards and added three key turnovers.

"We came out strong," said Polinski, whose team came back from a 7-0 early deficit to take a 14-7 halftime advantage. "Our goal is to keep improving and keep winning."

It didn't look good for Hersey early, when junior Christopher Cornelius (8 carries for 89 yard) exploded on Palatine's first play from scrimmage, rushing for a 50-yard score.

But the Huskies came back late in the first quarter using a 14-play drive that extended into the second, tying the game on senior quarterback Jack Warner's 1-yard run.

The Huskies rushed the ball behind senior Patrick Flynn, senior Chris Collins, senior Tyler Masini, senior George Vladimirov and senior Joe Belafiore on 13 of the 14 plays.

"The O-line did the job, we just ran behind them," said Polinski.

On Hersey's next possession, Warner connected with senior Tyndale Dahnweih for a 25-yard score to give the Huskies a 7-point halftime cushion.

Palatine answered to begin the second half when junior quarterback Nick Orlando found junior Eric Theis on a 28-yard scoring play. Theis had 5 catches for 72 yards.

But Palatine's momentum came to an abrupt halt as the Pirates turned the ball over two straight possessions. The second turnover proved costly as it led to the decisive field goal.

"Give credit to Hersey, they made some big stops," said Palatine coach Rick Splitt. "Nick and Theis made some big plays early in the second half, but the rest of game we didn't make those plays."

Palatine moved the ball to Hersey 24, but the drive stalled after a critical holding penalty.

Hersey was then able to milk the clock behind the running of Polinski.

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