Rivalry week: North rallies to win Battle of the Glenbrooks 21-14 with interception in OT
Anything can happen in a rivalry game, said Glenbrook South football coach Dave Schoenwetter.
A great example came last Friday at John Davis Stadium in Glenview.
Visiting Glenbrook North proved resilient and rallied to win the Central Suburban League South contest 21-14 in overtime.
"First off, it's a huge rivalry game, so that means the most to us right now," said Glenbrook North quarterback Avery Burow.
The 6-foot-1 senior slashed in from the 1-yard line on the first possession in overtime, escorted by linemen Patrick Mahoney, Mihailo Milutinovic and Jackson Carsello and running back Drake Marquez. Kicker Michael Cosentino added the final margin.
"Obviously, last year we lost to them (also 21-14), so we wanted to bring it back and show them that we mean business as well and win on their home turf, which is awesome. A great game overall toward the end, and a great team effort as well by our defense, especially," Burow said.
Glenbrook North (1-1) clinched the win on senior Owen Cassell's interception in overtime.
"We were in a deep coverage, we knew that they were going to be looking to get in the end zone, of course," Cassell said. "We just had to play back, and I made a read on the quarterback and jumped it. We were just playing together as a team, and we had each other's backs."
Glenbrook North, led by a combined 20 tackles by J.R. Flood and Murphy Mulvihill, forced 4 turnovers including junior Ryan Henschel's 69-yard interception return for touchdown with no time remaining in the first half.
"We made far too many mistakes," Schoenwetter said.
Trailing 14-7 after Glenbrook South running back Etor Agbenya's 5-yard touchdown run and fellow junior Matt Burda's conversion run at 9:02 of the fourth quarter, the visiting Spartans forced overtime on a play similar to its Week 1 touchdown against Evanston.
Burow ran to the left, shrugged off an arm tackle, reversed course and scrambled right. He found Henschel in the front right corner of the end zone for a 26-yard touchdown catch. Cosentino's kick tied the score 14-14 with 7:07 remaining in regulation.
"I think I gave one guy a high-five as he was trying to tackle me, so I tried stiff-arming him away. I think one guy was around my legs, too," Burow said.
"Our defense was tremendous tonight," Glenbrook North coach Matt Purdy said, "but if you're looking on the offensive side of the ball it's (Burow's) ability to keep plays alive and be a heck of a leader in our huddle. He took some good hits, and we saw some wind knocked out of him a couple times, but every time I knew he was going to get back in the huddle and lead our football team."
It was a bend-but-don't-break defense, because Glenbrook South (0-2) ran the ball effectively with Agbenya, Tom Gebien and Burda, who finished with 68 yards rushing.
"We had a lot of penalties that brought back good plays, we had a pick-6 before the half and then we had fumbles that killed drives that were moving. So I felt like we were pretty self-destructive tonight and that Glenbrook North did a good job at the end of the game finding ways to move the football and getting the ball in the end zone," Schoenwetter said.
Glenbrook North's shorter defensive backs had a hard time against Titans tight end Jack Disano and receiver Justin Leszynski, each going at least 6-foot-4 and 220 pounds.
Leszynski finished with 4 catches for 89 yards, including a 34-yard touchdown grab for a 6-0 Titans lead at 4:20 of the first quarter. Glenbrook South senior quarterback Michael Bauer froze the coverage with a deceptive shoulder fake before hitting Leszynski in stride down the right sideline. Bauer finished completing 13 of 21 passes for 180 yards.
The Titans outgained Glenbrook North 198 yards to 36 in the first half. Senior Matt Schultz intercepted the Spartans on their first possession and defensive linemen Devonjae Hudson and Jacque Gariepy were constant thorns.
Twice, though, Glenbrook South lost fumbles deep in the red zone, once on the Spartans' 12-yard line and later at the 6. Glenbrook North itself squandered a fourth-quarter opportunity when it muffed a snap on Glenbrook South's 12-yard line with 18 seconds left, recovered by the Titans' Disano.
Other than perhaps Cassell's clinching interception, no turnover was more impactful than when Henschel took advantage of Titans miscommunication for his 69-yard interception return, followed by Cosentino's conversion kick. "We didn't score all half so I think putting points on the board, seeing the 7-6 lead at half, was huge for the boys," Henschel said.
"I'm so excited to win because last year we lost. They planted a flag in the middle of our field. It kind of made us mad," he said.
Hopefully not for too long, suggested Purdy, who lives in Glenbrook South turf.
"This is obviously just a rivalry game," said Purdy, named the Chicago Bears High School "Coach of the Week" for Week 1. "You're talking about two schools that are separated by like two and a half miles, and probably 99 percent of the time these guys are friends."