Signature win for Sanchez, Barrington

By Tommy Mantice
Daily Herald Correspondent
Updated 9/16/2016 11:21 PM

Friday night's victory will be a lasting memory for Barrington football coach Joe Sanchez.

He picked up his 107th win as the Broncos' coach in a 35-7 stampede at Evanston. The result makes him winningest coach in Barrington history.

"It certainly wasn't all me," Sanchez said. "I am surrounded by great coaches and a great community. There have been a lot of wonderful players that have come through (the program). I have been at the right place at the right time.

"Now that it's over, I can reflect. Maybe at the end of the season, hopefully around Thanksgiving, I can reflect some more."

The Broncos ran the ball for 375 yards on 37 rushes. The bulk of the yards came from junior quarterback Ray Niro and senior running back Logan Moews.

Barrington's speedy run game was on full display on their first drive. Within the first four minutes, Barrington had a score thanks to a 30-yard scamper from Moews and a 39-yard gallop from Niro. The drive was capped off by a 1-yard touchdown run by the junior quarterback thanks to a jump-cut that left two Evanston defenders in the dust.

Niro finished with 166 yards and 3 touchdowns on the ground, and 15 completions for 111 yards.

"(My speed) is huge," Niro said. "It really helps that I can get around defenders if I need to, but the offensive line was great tonight. I felt good throwing the ball tonight. I feel like I have room to improve. I didn't feel all that comfortable (throwing)."

While the Barrington offense shined, the defense also held up its end of the bargain.

The Wildkits were down 21 points and were looking for a score right before halftime. Evanston called for a screen pass on fourth and long, but linebacker Blake Holley sniffed it out. He reached out with one hand and made a diving interception that ended the Wildkits' threat.

Niro scored on a 20-yard run eight plays later.

"That was unbelievable," Sanchez said of Holley's pick. "We see him make plays like that all the time in practice, so it was great to see him make that play tonight. The best part about that play was I congratulated him when he came to the sidelines, and he said to me 'I should have dropped the ball, we would have had better field position.' "

The Wildkits only completed 2 passes throughout the entire game, but one cost the Broncos a shutout.

Drew Dawkins launched a 33-yard bomb down the right sideline and Michael Axelrood grabbed the ball in tight coverage while fighting off the defender in the end zone.

Evanston came into Friday's game undefeated after edging out Conant 21-17 on the road the previous week.

"We knew that (Evanston) was really good," Moews said. "It is always interesting when undefeated teams clash. We were looking forward to this game. They are really athletic and a solid team."

The Broncos will start Mid-Suburban West play on the road against Fremd next week.

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