While some positives did emerge from Bartlett's home football opener on Saturday the Hawks still came out on the short end against visiting Lemont 28-13 to fall to 0-2.
The Bartlett defense just had no answer for the Indians' connection of quarterback Marcus Mathius and wideout Austin Nagle. Mathius threw for a pair of touchdowns and ran for another. His favorite target was definitely Nagle, who had 9 receptions for 170 yards and both receiving touchdowns.
Nagle had a 24-yard touchdown catch in the first quarter and added a 46-yard catch for another score early in the second quarter.
"He is a quality athlete in open space," Bartlett coach Eric Ilich said. "He's special once he gets the ball in his hands. He will be a handful for every team he faces."
Mathius added a 3-yard touchdown run later in the second quarter to put Lemont up 22-0 at halftime.
"The passing game is something we have been working on a lot," Lemont coach Brett Kooi said. "We seem to be getting more confident with it every week. We have some very good receivers and we are getting better at utilizing them."
Lemont increased the lead to 28-0 on its first position of the third quarter with a 9-yard touchdown run by Brian Collins.
On the bright side for the Hawks, they did score the final 2 touchdowns. Bartlett marched 72 yards late in the third quarter and capped it with a 33-yard touchdown pass from Dean Kotsovetis to Austin Gates. Kotsovetis later added a 1-yard touchdown after a short 36-yard drive.
"We talk about starting strong and finishing strong," Ilich said. "And for the second straight week we did the finishing strong part. Now we have to figure out the starting strong part."
The Hawks managed just 6 yards rushing, but were more effective through the air especially in the short passing game. Kolsovetis completed 20 of 32 pass attempts for 182 yards.
"That was about as stout of an interior box defense against the run that we have seen in the past two years," Ilich said. "A lot of teams will struggle to run the ball against them. I think Dean has done a nice job picking up the passing schemes. He is getting to the point where we can start making more second and third level passes down the field."