Zach Oles and his Palatine teammates avoided the rabbit hole Friday.
Palatine was coming off a huge victory the previous week against Stevenson, so there was a worry about a letdown in their MSL crossover game with Elk Grove. But Oles was nearly perfect as was Palatine as the Pirates rolled past the visiting Grens 48-7.
Oles hit on 13 of 14 passes for 252 yards and 3 touchdowns -- all in the first half.
"That was the focus all week," Oles said. "The coaches said it was a trap game for us. But I felt pretty confident the way we practiced."
There was a brief worry for Palatine (2-0) after the Pirates fumbled on their first possession. From there on, it was all business for the two-time defending MSL West champions as Oles and the Palatine offense went to work. They scored the next 6 times they touched the ball to lead 41-0 and send the game into a running clock.
"Our kids played very well," Palatine coach Rick Splitt coach said. "We came out and had the turnover right away. But the kids bounced back from it."
Palatine scored 27 points in the first quarter, with Oles going 10-of-10 for 221 yards and 2 touchdowns.
Josh Turner scored on a 1-yard run after Oles connected with Jack Grochowksi on a 42-yard pass to begin the onslaught. Oles then passed to Johnny O'Shea for 20-yard TD pass.
Courtland Cornelius, who turned a short pass into a 55-yard gain to the Elk Gove 5, scored 2 plays later on a 1-yard run. Oles then hooked up with Grochowski on a 25-yard TD pass.
Jake Moertl, came up with the first of his 2 interceptions and returned it 32 yards untouched for a score.
"I was just sitting out there doing what we were told," Moertl said. "I saw him throw the ball and I just jumped it. It was a great feeling."
Oles connected with O' Shea for 5-yard touchdown pass to close out the half. Grochowski, who would take a seat with Oles after the first half, finished with 5 catches for 114 yards while O'Shea had 5 receptions for 71 yards.
Oles credited his the Pirate's scout team in practice for his ability to pick up the Elk Grove defense so quickly.
"Our scour team did a great job for us," Oles said. "We knew that when they were bringing the safeties, who was blitzing."
Elk Grove (0-2) had a nice performance from running back Genio Hyppolite. The junior had 36 carries for 156 yards and scored on 9-yard in the third quarter.
"Last week he struggled a little bit," Elk Grove coach John Sigmund said. "Genio from Day 1 has been a kid who has been really physical. He ran downhill tonight. We are hoping we can ride him as we get into the MSL East and our two CSL crossover games."
Palatine got a late touchdown from Joshua Ochola-Okee, who had 63-yard scoring burst last in the third quarter to close out the scoring.
Splitt was pleased that he could get his whole squad onto the field in his team's home opener.
"It is always great to be able to play everyone," Splitt said.