Barrington stays alive for playoff berth, eliminates Conant
Barrington's recently-crowned state championship girls golf team was honored at halftime of Friday's football game between the host Broncos and Conant.
Barrington's football team teed off strong in the first half, building a 35-7 lead in the Mid-Suburban League West test.
With its playoff hopes on the line, the Broncos rose to the occasion and holed out with a 56-14 victory that kept them in contention for a berth in the state tournament.
"I'm really proud of them because now we have something to play for next week beyond pride," said Barrington coach Joe Sanchez. whose team plays Fremd in Week 9. "These boys know that their best football is still in front of them and it's an honor to be a part of this."
The Broncos (4-4, 2-2) scored on all five of their possessions in the first half, running and passing behind offensive linemen Cosey Proctor, Adam Krieps, Will Warman, Peter Hutchison, Owen Powell and Basheer Anthony.
Three of possessions were capped by touchdown runs by Evan Panesis (127 yards), including the first one (27 yards) that completed a 83-yard, 9-play march. The senior running back also scored on runs of 43 and 4 yards.
"We were happy with the way he responded this week, and with everyone else this week," Sanchez said. "We've got to keep it going now with another big one next week."
The other two first-half TDs came from the arm of senior quarterback Harley Thompson, who tossed a 27-yard strike to Jack Bradley and a 61-yard bomb to Connor Lee.
Lee also caught a 50-yard TD pass from Thompson on a crossing pattern just three plays into the second half to give the Broncos a 42-7 lead.
After the Barrington defense forced a three-and-out, Conant punter Griffin Ryan landed a punt at the Broncos' 2-yard.
Undaunted, Thompson marched his team 98 yards, capped by his own 43-yard TD scamper that made it 49-7 and initiated the running clock with 6:16 left in the third quarter.
"I felt we had had the best week of practice we've ever had," said Thompson, who was 4-for-6 for 85 yards and rushed for 72 yards. "Everyone was super prepared. Now we need the same energy we had this past week for next week."
Junior Manny Hall capped the scoring for Barrington with a 7-yard TD run.
Quarterback Giuseppe Dugo scored on a 3-yard run in the first half and a 2-yard run in the game's final minute for Conant (3-5, 2-2).
"When you are playing against an option offense that has been averaging 42 points a game and has tough kids like Dugo, (Ryan) Kutella and (Dominic) Minnini, it's a total team effort by the defense," Sanchez said. "It's the interior linemen, the linebackers and the DBs. Everyone has to be in sync so credit to those guys and what they did all week with their coaches."
Dugo rushed for 92 yards while Mininni gained 75.
"Barrington played very well," said Conant coach Bryan Stortz. "We've got to get back at it, and find ways for our kids to improve on everything. Give Barrington credit. They came in with a great game plan and executed very well."
"After a tough loss to a very good Palatine team last week, one where we felt like we let some opportunities slipped away, we talked all week about coming out fast, playing free and playing for each other," Sanchez added, "And that's what the boys did tonight."