Buffalo Grove holds off Conant's late rally

By John Bumbales
Daily Herald Correspondent
Updated 9/3/2021 10:54 PM

After both teams got wins to open the season last weekend, something had to give when Buffalo Grove visited Conant in a Mid-Suburban League crossover football game Friday night.

And while the Bison did have to hold off a late comeback attempt by the Cougars, they were able to capture a 41-35 win.


The Bison (2-0) came out moving the football effectively in the second quarter as a 6-yard TD run by Cole Nixon followed by Andrew Smith's extra point put Buffalo Grove ahead 7-0 just 39 seconds into the period.

Good field position paid off on the Bison's next drive as a 2-yard TD run on a direct snap to Scott Murray capped a 4-play, 52-yard scoring drive which began with a 34-yard run by Murray.

The Cougars got their offense going on their next possession behind the running of quarterback Giuseppe Dugo, who had runs of 35, 23, and 8 yards to take the ball down to the Buffalo Grove 2-yard-line.

From there, Dominick Mininni scored on a 2-yard run before the extra point by Gracie Rodriguez cut the lead to 14-7.

The Bison responded strongly on the ensuing drive as a 1-yard keeper by quarterback Michael Cervantes capped a 60-yard scoring drive with just 19.4 seconds left in the first half.

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Conant (1-1) fell behind 28-7 when Cervantes made a great fake on the option as Murray (102 yards on 10 carries) raced 51 yards for the touchdown.

Mininni (94 yards on 21 rushes) answered with a 1-yard TD run only to see Murray explode for a 74-yard kickoff return moments later to boost the lead back to 35-14.

"Scott is a guy who does everything for us. He is a phenomenal all-around player, and it has been nice to see him grow," said Buffalo Grove coach Jeff Vlk. "We buckled down when we needed to, and it was a good win to get."

Mininni's 17-yard TD run made the score 35-21 before Dugo (182 yards on 21 carries) scored on a 1-yard keeper to cut the lead to 35-28 with 2:12 to play.

But Nixon (87 yards rushing) scored on a 50-yard TD run on a quick hitter 20 seconds later to pretty much seal the win. Conant never quit as Dugo scored on a 4-yard run with three seconds left to account for the final score.


"They do a great job of running their system and they have some really good players," said Conant coach Bryan Stortz. "(Dugo) gets us in and out of good plays, and he's a great competitor."

Cervantes ran for 76 yards and threw for 73 yards while Dugo threw for 86 yards. Conant's Ryan Kutella ran for 63 yards while teammate Cooper Hanson had a huge interception in the fourth quarter.

"We really put it together with our triple option," Murray said. "Our quarterback (Cervantes) is a great kid, he's really grown up, and everybody came to play."

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