One thing's for sure: this Barrington team is well-grounded.
The Broncos used a powerful running game and mixed in some key passes to belt Maine South 41-27 Friday in the most highly anticipated matchup in the set of Mid Suburban League/Central Suburban League crossover games.
"Our weekly goal is to go 1-0," Barrington coach Joe Sanchez said. "That's our focus."
Sanchez said that the huge difference was the Barrington offensive line.
"We knew from the summer, these guys were going to be special," Sanchez said. "The have a special camaraderie. They keep their composure and figure out what adjustments they need to make."
Running behind that offensive line that averages 265 pounds and consists Nick Bart, John Stefan, Mark Bach, Brad Warman and Eric Padilla, the Broncos piled up 285 yards on the ground and 450 of total offense.
Barrington running back Logan Moews gained 158 yards on 25 carries and said he loved being behind those huge guys.
"Those big boys upfront play a huge role in this," Moews said. "I was just running behind them. It was a lot of fun. We had a good push out there."
Quarterback Ray Niro had 116 yards on 15 carries. Niro also threw for 165 yards on 11-of-15 passing and 2 touchdowns.
"Our coaches came in with a plan and we executed it perfectly," Niro said. "They were the ones that studied the film and gave it to us and showed it would work. We had to trust them -- just like we trust our offensive line."
Bach says that trust goes a long way for him and his fellow offensive linemen.
"We have that mentality that we have to finish every single block," Bach said. "It is a testament to our coaches that this is the way we play. It is no accident that we played that way tonight."
Bart, who has offers from Air Force and Butler, says he credits the Broncos practice squad for their success tonight.
"They gave us great looks all week," Bart said. "They are our backup defense. And they really got us prepared."
Stefan said that not only did the Broncos block one on one great, they made their double-teams work to perfection.
"Working with Mark and Nick on every play is great," Stefan said. "We got to combo block a lot out there. The game kicked off 45 minutes late due to the sophomore game. But that didn't stop Barrington from getting on track quickly.
The Broncos went 56 yards, all on the ground, in 8 plays. Niro had a quarterback sneak to make it 7-0.
Maine South (1-2), which was coming off a tough loss to Loyola last Sarurday, was stymied on its first two possessions. The Hawks got things moving late in the first quarter and drove the Barrington 5, where the Bronco defense stiffened and the Hawks' Sean McNulty on a 220yard field goal to make it 7-3.
Niro busted off a 44-yard on Barrington's next possession. Three runs later, all by Moews, had the senior scoring from the 3 to make it 14-3 early in the second quarter.
Not to be outdone, Maine South came right back to close the gap to 14-10 in the second quarter. Matt Holbrook hauled down a 15-yard touchdown pass from Nick Leongas.
With Maine South crowding the line of scrimmage, Barrington went to the air to increase its lead to 21-10. Niro first connected with Josh Babicz on a 35-yard pass. Later, the duo would hook up again on 22-yard scoring play.
McNulty nailed a 39-yard field goal on the final play of the first half to cut the lead 21-13.
Barrington picked up where it left off in the first half. The Broncos mixed their plays nicely and Niro capped a 10-play, 80-yard drive with a 23-yard run to make it 28-13.
Barrington's defense got into the act when Drew Douglas picked off a pass and returned it 55 yards for a touchdown as Barrington opened up a 35-13 lead.
Maine South showed it wasn't done when Fotis Kokosioulis tallied on an 18-yard run as the Hawks closed to 35-20.
Barrington then used up the first 5:30 of the fourth quarter to mount a 9-play, 80-yard drive. Niro connected with Babicz on a 1-yard pass on fourth and goal that put the game out of reach with a 41-20 lead.
Maine South scored a late touchdown on a run by Leongas. But Sanchez was pleased with the defensive group led by Jackson Perkins, Tanner Lang, Luke Coon, Blake Holley and Douglas.
"Maine South has been one of the highest-scoring teams in the state," Sanchez said. "You are going to give up points. But the big thing is that you want to make them earn everything. Our boys did that tonight."