Maine South roars back to dump Glenbrook South
Maine South has a history of winning Central Suburban South games. Coming into Friday night's game in Park Ridge, the Hawks were 100-1 under head coach Dave Inserra since 2001. And they had not lost to Glenbrook South since the early 1990s.
But entering the fourth quarter, the Hawks found themselves trailing a highly energetic and motivated Glenbrook South team 17-6.
With Chris Petrucci and Mike Sajenko leading the charge on the offensive end, the Hawks began to overcome mistakes. Then add in a Hawk defense that was flying all over the field to make huge stops.
With all those things in motion, Maine South was able to score 26 unanswered points in the fourth quarter to rally for a 32-17 win.
"I would say I am a happy guy," said Sajenko, who rushed for 138 yards and a touchdown and had 99 yards receiving and another touchdown.
"But all these penalties on every run getting called back. I was just got mad and did what I did."
Maine South (5-1, 1-0) had to overcome 17 penalties for 175 yards. The penalties caused 2 touchdowns to be called back along with a 57-yard run by Sajenko.
The Hawks also had two key turnovers -- an interception inside their own 20 that led to a field goal and a fumble at the Glenbrook South 7-yard line. But good teams still find a way.
"You never quit until the end," said Petrucci, who had a touchdown reception and an interception return for another touchdown.
"We showed that today. We just had to stop shooting ourselves in the foot."
Glenbrook South (5-1, 0-1) took advantage on Maine South mistakes and penalties to take a 10-6 halftime lead.
Glenbrook took a quick 7-0 on a 4-yard touchdown run by Will Collins with 8:39 left in the first quarter. It was set up on a 44-yard pass from Nic Swanson to Chuck Gottfred on a third-and-9 play.
Glenbrook South made it 10-0 on its next possession on a 37-yard field goal by Franco Fernandez. An interception by Collins at the Maine South 16 gave the Titans the scoring opportunity.
Maine South got on the board on the second play of the second quarter. Sam Taglia's 42-yard field goal just dropped over the crossbar to make it 10-3. Taglia would add a 35-yarder just before the end of the half.
The Titans struck quickly in the second half, scoring on the second play from scrimmage. Gottfred got behind the safeties again and scored on an 88-yard catch and run from Swanson to make it 17-6.
Maine South finally put a scoring drive together when Sajenko scored on a 16-yard burst up the middle to cut the lead to 17-12 with 11:10 to play.
After a three-and-out by the Hawk defense, Sajenko used four runs to take the ball to the Titans' 7-yard line. Rowan Keefe (16-of-24, 221 yards) connected with Petrucci for a touchdown to make it 18-17 with 6:49 to play.
Glenbrook South drove to the Hawks' 37 with just under two minutes to play. But on fourth-and-2 Teddy Gianaris, Jimmy Brander and Connor Wolf stopped the running play a yard short.
Keefe then connected with Sajenko on a 74-yard screen pass for a touchdown and Petrucci followed with a 23-yard interception return to seal the win.
"We didn't make any breaks for ourselves," Inserra said. "We made some mistakes offensively and our defense was outstanding against the run. But we just kept pushing."
Glenbrook South coach Dave Schoenwetter said that his team gave a great effort.
"I thought we had a great first half," Schoenweter said. "As the night wore on we both got tired and we struggled to move the ball and they made big plays."