Libertyville holds off Zion-Benton

By Rusty Silber
Daily Herald Correspondent
Updated 4/16/2021 11:06 PM

It's been a different kind of year and that goes for football played in April. Libertyville was on its heels and needed some type of spark in the final quarter and the Wildcats found it with a couple of turnovers.

The Wildcats scored 16 straight points in 83 seconds that carried them to a 28-19 victory over visiting Zion-Benton in a North Suburban Conference game Friday night in Libertyville.


Libertyville quarterback Blake Ellingson (10 for 15 passing for 179 yards and 1 rushing TD) threw a 27-yard touchdown pass to Matt Brenner and Tommy Latka scored on an 11-yard run that pushed the Wildcats (4-1) out in front for good, 28-13, with 3:34 left in the final quarter, after they were down 13-12 to Zion-Benton (1-4) late in the second quarter.

"It was a weird game and strange all around," said Ellingson, who is going to Drake next year, "It didn't come out the way we wanted it to. But, we fought through the adversity and pulled out a win. Our defense came out huge with a fumble recovery and we knew that we had to establish the run game. It was a huge effort in the second half."

Domenic Tarello made the first fumble recovery that set up the score for the lead and Dillion McDonald recovered the other one.

"We just didn't execute very well," Libertyville coach Mike Jones said.

"I give Zion-Benton credit, they did things to us that we didn't adjust to very well. But our group persevered. We didn't handle adversity early in the year against Lake Forest. I think we've grown a little bit. It's kind of weird, because this whole season is condensed. Usually, you have time to work on those things. Our group showed more fortitude this week than they did earlier."

Brenner also added a 1-yard rushing touchdown early in the game.

Zion-Benton's LaZarius Geater (19 carries, 205 yards) scored all three Zee-Bees' touchdowns, from 14, 68 and 24 yards.

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