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The play was a simple 8-yard pass from Stevenson junior quarterback Willie Bourbon to junior wide receiver Cameron Green.
But there was nothing simple about the result.
"When I threw it, the ball kind of got in on his pads," Bourbon said of the throw to Green. "Then I looked up and he was gone."
The ball bounced just right, from the jersey into the hands of the standout wideout. Green proceeded to break two tackles, spinning once, then twice and running away from the Libertyville secondary. His highlight-reel 45-yard touchdown catch was one of many bright moments for Stevenson in the Patriots' North Suburban Lake contest with rival Libertyville.
The hosts raced out to a 21-0 lead in the first quarter and never looked back as they handled the Wildcats 49-3 Friday night in Lincolnshire. It was the fifth straight year that Stevenson has defeated Libertyville and the first time that either team has forced a running clock because of the 40-plus point rule.
"We played unbelievable in all phases tonight against a good Libertyville team," said Stevenson coach Bill McNamara, who improved to 4-0 against Libertyville. "It was pretty amazing how we were clicking tonight against a good football team."
Stevenson (2-2, 2-0) began to click on the first play of the night. The combination of Bourbon-to-Green went for 34 yards to set up the Patriots' first score. Six plays later, Jack Joseph scored from a yard out and Stevenson had all the points it would need at 7-0.
"The first two games of the season were kind of a wakeup call for us," Bourbon said. "But we came out focused and were really clicking tonight."
The hosts wasted little time extending the lead. Less than three minutes later, Bourbon scored the first of his two rushing touchdowns, this one from 20 yards out, and Stevenson was on its way at 14-0.
"Stevenson came out and played fast," Libertyville coach Mike Jones said. "They played faster than what you would be able to get on film. We got a little rattled early tonight and never really recovered from it."
Green closed out his impressive first quarter with the big catch that even surprised him.
"(Willie) threw the ball really hard and it went off the defender and hit me in the chest," Green said. "All I could remember was I had to keep running, and I just tried to break away."
The first quarter alone for Green would have been a good night for just about any ordinary receiver. His 3 catches for 110 yards and a score lifted the Patriots to a 21-0 lead after one period.
"Cameron is just unbelievable," McNamara said. "He is the complete package — a freak athlete, but what I enjoy about him even more is he is an incredible human being."
Green finished with 4 catches for 127 yards. Bourbon had his best night of the season throwing for 257 yards and two scores and running for a pair of scores and 91 yards.
Tim Vestuto closed out the scoring for Stevenson with scoring runs of 11 and 79 yards.
Libertyville added a 26-yard field goal from John Lubenow.