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updated: 8/30/2014 12:39 AM

Happy 'homecoming' for BG

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By Bill Esbrook
Daily Herald Correspondent

Buffalo Grove coach Mike DiMatteo had a succesful return to his old stomping grounds.

His players, especially on defense, saw to that.

The BG defenders stopped Leyden on fourth down five times deep in Bison territory, and John Maddox had two scoring runs as the visitors defeated the host Eagles 20-7 in Northlake.

DiMatteo grew up in nearby Melrose Park.

"This was huge," said BG senior Dan Levato, "especially because this is coach's home place. We wanted to get this for him, and our offense and defense came up big.

"This was a team win."

Leyden, which was led by 8 receptions from wide receiver Alexander Lemon, kept knocking at the door but could only dent the end zone one time.

"We got inside the 10 yard line twice and came away with no points," said Eagles coach Tom Cerasani. "Our defense played pretty well, but we didn't make stops when we needed them. You've got to make stops in important situations and we didn't do that."

BG scored on a 10-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Trey Cervantes to Levato in the first quarter, then made it 14-0 at halftime when Maddox tallied on a 25-yard run up the middle on fourth down.

After a lengthy lightning delay held up play, BG's defense clamped down again in the fourth quarter after a Tom Pajor to John Robles 23-yard strike saw Leyden creep to within 14-7.

The Bison held on fourth down with the Eagles on the 4-yard line as David DeMarais was stopped just short of the goal line.

Then after a BG drive netted a third touchdown on a 8-yard Maddox run, the Bison stuffed Leyden again as the Eagles drove to the BG 13 but turned the ball over on downs one more time.

"This is the first time since I've been in high school that we started with a road win," said BG senior defensive lineman Alex Horvat, who recorded 2 sacks. "It was huge to begin the season."

Leyden quarterback Pajor completed 19 passes for 180 yards, while Cervantes connected on 14-of-22 for 153 yards.

BG senior Chris Beck caught 6 passes for 70 yards.

"This was just the beginning," said Horvat. "Next week we're going to come back harder, better and stronger."

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