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Daily Herald's 2017 Season Coverage
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updated: 10/15/2016 8:27 AM

Oles, Palatine knock off Barrington

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  • Palatine quarterback Zach Oles breaks through Barrington's defense for a first-quarter touchdown Friday at Barrington Community Stadium.

      Palatine quarterback Zach Oles breaks through Barrington's defense for a first-quarter touchdown Friday at Barrington Community Stadium.
    Mark Welsh | Staff Photographer

  • Barrington's Mac Molli celebrates his touchdown with teammate Griffin Gabbert during Friday's matchup against Palatine at Barrington.

      Barrington's Mac Molli celebrates his touchdown with teammate Griffin Gabbert during Friday's matchup against Palatine at Barrington.
    Mark Welsh | Staff Photographer

  • Barrington's Josh Babicz scores a touchdown in the second quarter against Palatine.

      Barrington's Josh Babicz scores a touchdown in the second quarter against Palatine.
    Mark Welsh | Staff Photographer

  • Barrington's Logan Moews finds a crease in Palatine's defense on Friday at Barrington Community Stadium.

      Barrington's Logan Moews finds a crease in Palatine's defense on Friday at Barrington Community Stadium.
    Mark Welsh | Staff Photographer

  • Palatine's Joshua Turner breaks through Barrington's defense on Friday at Barrington Community Stadium.

      Palatine's Joshua Turner breaks through Barrington's defense on Friday at Barrington Community Stadium.
    Mark Welsh | Staff Photographer

 
By Dick Quagliano
Daily Herald Correspondent

Palatine's Zach Oles ran like a lineman Friday in Barrington.

The 6-foot, 200-pound senior quarterback, who actually was an offensive lineman earlier in his football days, ran over and around people. He scored 5 touchdowns and passed for another as Palatine claimed the Mid-Suburban West football title for the third consecutive year with a 49-31 victory.

"It was very physical out there," said Oles, who rushed for 83 yards and threw for another 217. "I just have to give credit to the offensive line. I am good friends with them. They have my back and I have theirs."

Oles was a force when the Pirates needed key yards. Besides the 5 TDs, he ran to convert a third down and a pair of fourth-down plays to keep drives alive.

"We knew it was going to be a big game," Oles said. "The atmosphere was great and we came out and showed it."

The offenses didn't disappoint in the first half as Palatine took a 28-21 advantage. The teams combined for 538 yards and 32 first downs.

But it was the only defensive stop of the first half by either team that gave Palatine the advantage.

Palatine's defensive front of McKenzie Balanganayi, Bryant Smith, Josh Danielson and Billy Ilkka stopped the Broncos on fourth-and-1 at the Palatine 28.

"We just had to get low on those guys," Balanganayi said. "We knew how important it was to stop them when we could."

Oles had 3 touchdown runs for the Pirates and a 12-yard pass to Jack Grochowski. He also had a conversion pass to Grochowski after one of Grochowski's extra point kicks was blocked.

The Pirates got another huge game from wide receiver Johnny O'Shea , who had a pair of circus-like catches to set up 2 of Oles' touchdown runs.

"It is just a lot of practice," said O'Shea, who had 7 catches for 123 yards. "We don't need special connections. He just throws me the ball and I try to get it every time."

Barrington countered with 2 TD passes from Ray Niro to Mac Molli that covered 28 yards and a 22-harder to Josh Babicz. Logan Moews also tallied on a 15-yard run.

Palatine (8-0, 4-0) pulled away in the second half, dominating play.

After a three and out by the Palatine defense, Oles capped a 9-play drive with his fourth touchdown on an 11-yard run to make it 28-14.

Barrington had a chance to get back in the game, driving to the Palatine 38. But again the defensive front did their job on fourth-and-1 as Balanganayi led the charge for huge stop.

"Our defense came up with the big plays when we needed them," Palatine coach Rick Splitt said. "Our front line did a great job tonight."

The Pirates, scored the next two times they had the ball to put the game out of reach. Oles scored from 3 yards out and Josh Turner, who had a huge game, rushing for 169 yards on 22 carries, scored on a 4-yard run.

"We talked all week how they were going to try to stop Zach," Turner said. "And that I would have some pretty big running lanes. So I took it."

Barrington (7-1, 3-1) had trouble getting their offense going in the second half, due in part to swarming Palatine defense and a key injury to Bronco offensive lineman and three-year starter Nick Bart.

Barrington scored late in the final quarter on a safety by Jackson Perkins and Babicz's second touchdown reception from Niro (16-of-21, 158 yards).

Niro rushed for 106 yards while Moews picked up 100 yards on the ground. But it wasn't quite enough to offset Palatine's 513 yards and 33 first downs.

"It was a tale of two halves," Sanchez said. "The second half, they made more plays than we did."

Splitt said his team was ready for the challenge Friday.

"It is a great feeling," Splitt said. "Our kids came out ready. We did a lot of great things offensively and our defense made stops when we had to."

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