'Taking care of business': Maine South starts slow but then rolls to defeat Glenbrook North

Maine South starts slow but rolls to defeat Glenbrook North

  • Maine South's Mike Sajenko, right, celebrates his second-quarter touchdown with teammate Chris Petrucci during Saturday's game against Glenbrook North.

    Maine South's Mike Sajenko, right, celebrates his second-quarter touchdown with teammate Chris Petrucci during Saturday's game against Glenbrook North. Joe Lewnard | Staff Photographer

  • Maine South's Luke Kracik, left, is forced out of bounds by Glenbrook North's Ryan Henschel during Saturday's game in Park Ridge.

    Maine South's Luke Kracik, left, is forced out of bounds by Glenbrook North's Ryan Henschel during Saturday's game in Park Ridge. Joe Lewnard | Staff Photographer

  • Maine South quarterback Luke Leongas throws a pass during Saturday's game against Glenbrook North.

    Maine South quarterback Luke Leongas throws a pass during Saturday's game against Glenbrook North. Joe Lewnard | Staff Photographer

  • Glenbrook North's Sam Dawson (50) sacks Maine South quarterback Luke Leongas during Saturday's game in Park Ridge.

    Glenbrook North's Sam Dawson (50) sacks Maine South quarterback Luke Leongas during Saturday's game in Park Ridge. Joe Lewnard | Staff Photographer

  • Maine South's Chris Petrucci celebrates a 35-yard, second-quarter touchdown during Saturday's game in Park Ridge.

    Maine South's Chris Petrucci celebrates a 35-yard, second-quarter touchdown during Saturday's game in Park Ridge. Joe Lewnard | Staff Photographer

  • Maine South's Luke Kracik, left, fumbles a Glenbrook North punt in front of Glenbrook North's Nick Ullrich during Saturday's game in Park Ridge. The ball was recovered by Glenbrook North's Sam Dawson.

    Maine South's Luke Kracik, left, fumbles a Glenbrook North punt in front of Glenbrook North's Nick Ullrich during Saturday's game in Park Ridge. The ball was recovered by Glenbrook North's Sam Dawson. Joe Lewnard | Staff Photographer

  • Glenbrook North's Quinn Clarke, middle, goes airborne as he is tackled by Maine South's Carter Collins, left, and Tommy Dillon during Saturday's game in Park Ridge.

    Glenbrook North's Quinn Clarke, middle, goes airborne as he is tackled by Maine South's Carter Collins, left, and Tommy Dillon during Saturday's game in Park Ridge. Joe Lewnard | Staff Photographer

  • Maine South's Chris Petrucci, left, runs the ball into the end zone after catching a touchdown pass against Glenbrook North defender Nick Ullrich during the second quarter of Saturday's game in Park Ridge. Petrucci caught three passes for touchdowns during the quarter.

    Maine South's Chris Petrucci, left, runs the ball into the end zone after catching a touchdown pass against Glenbrook North defender Nick Ullrich during the second quarter of Saturday's game in Park Ridge. Petrucci caught three passes for touchdowns during the quarter. Joe Lewnard | Staff Photographer

  • Glenbrook North's Zach Mendo (1) gets tackled by Maine South's Justin Marques during Saturday's game in Park Ridge.

    Glenbrook North's Zach Mendo (1) gets tackled by Maine South's Justin Marques during Saturday's game in Park Ridge. Joe Lewnard | Staff Photographer

  • Maine South's Johnny Sassan, left, gets tackled by Glenbrook North's JR Flood during Saturday's game in Park Ridge.

    Maine South's Johnny Sassan, left, gets tackled by Glenbrook North's JR Flood during Saturday's game in Park Ridge. Joe Lewnard | Staff Photographer

  • Glenbrook North's Drake Marquez carries the ball during Saturday's game against Maine South.

    Glenbrook North's Drake Marquez carries the ball during Saturday's game against Maine South. Joe Lewnard | Staff Photographer

  • Glenbrook North's Ryan Henschel catches a lateral from quarterback Avery Burow, which he then threw for a completion during Saturday's game against Maine South.

    Glenbrook North's Ryan Henschel catches a lateral from quarterback Avery Burow, which he then threw for a completion during Saturday's game against Maine South. Joe Lewnard | Staff Photographer

  • Glenbrook North's Michael Cosentino kicks a field goal with Andrew Smith holding.

    Glenbrook North's Michael Cosentino kicks a field goal with Andrew Smith holding. Joe Lewnard | Staff Photographer

  • Maine South's Luke Leongas, right, gets past Glenbrook North's JR Flood during Saturday's game in Park Ridge.

    Maine South's Luke Leongas, right, gets past Glenbrook North's JR Flood during Saturday's game in Park Ridge. Joe Lewnard | Staff Photographer

  • Glenbrook North quarterback Avery Burow throws a pass during Saturday's game against Maine South.

    Glenbrook North quarterback Avery Burow throws a pass during Saturday's game against Maine South. Joe Lewnard | Staff Photographer

  • Glenbrook North's Ryan Henschel, left, gets his hands on the ball at the goal line as Maine South's Justin Marques defends, but the pass was ruled incomplete during Saturday's game in Park Ridge.

    Glenbrook North's Ryan Henschel, left, gets his hands on the ball at the goal line as Maine South's Justin Marques defends, but the pass was ruled incomplete during Saturday's game in Park Ridge. Joe Lewnard | Staff Photographer

  • Glenbrook North's from left, JR Flood, Gabe Ruiz and Owen Cassell tackle Maine South's Johnny Sassan during Saturday's game in Park Ridge.

    Glenbrook North's from left, JR Flood, Gabe Ruiz and Owen Cassell tackle Maine South's Johnny Sassan during Saturday's game in Park Ridge. Joe Lewnard | Staff Photographer

  • Maine South's Chris Petrucci catches a pass for a touchdown during the second quarter of Saturday's game against Glenbrook North.

    Maine South's Chris Petrucci catches a pass for a touchdown during the second quarter of Saturday's game against Glenbrook North. Joe Lewnard | Staff Photographer

  • Glenbrook North's Drake Marquez carries the ball against Maine South.

    Glenbrook North's Drake Marquez carries the ball against Maine South. Joe Lewnard | Staff Photographer

  • A pass to Glenbrook North's Luke Henry gets broken up by the Maine South defense during Saturday's game in Park Ridge.

    A pass to Glenbrook North's Luke Henry gets broken up by the Maine South defense during Saturday's game in Park Ridge. Joe Lewnard | Staff Photographer

  • Glenbrook North's Sam Dawson recovers a punt that was fumbled by Maine South during Saturday's game in Park Ridge.

    Glenbrook North's Sam Dawson recovers a punt that was fumbled by Maine South during Saturday's game in Park Ridge. Joe Lewnard | Staff Photographer

  • Maine South's Connor Wolfe, left, and Teddy Gianaris tackle Glenbrook North quarterback Avery Burow during Saturday's game in Park Ridge.

    Maine South's Connor Wolfe, left, and Teddy Gianaris tackle Glenbrook North quarterback Avery Burow during Saturday's game in Park Ridge. Joe Lewnard | Staff Photographer

  • Glenbrook North's Owen Cassell, left, and Aidan Casey tackle Maine South's Joey Dellumo during Saturday's game in Park Ridge.

    Glenbrook North's Owen Cassell, left, and Aidan Casey tackle Maine South's Joey Dellumo during Saturday's game in Park Ridge. Joe Lewnard | Staff Photographer

 
 
Updated 4/7/2021 8:09 PM

Eventually, Maine South quarterback Luke Leongas displayed his chemistry with receivers like tight end Chris Petrucci on Saturday against Glenbrook North.

First, Maine South had to get out of its own way.

 

Six Hawks penalties in the first quarter made for slow going early, but they found their footing in a 42-3 Central Suburban League South victory over Glenbrook North at Wilson Field in Park Ridge.

Leongas, a senior, completed 22 of 33 passes for 296 yards in three quarters before turning the offense over to junior quarterback Rowan Keefe. Leongas ran for one score and passed for 3 to Petrucci, a Division I prospect and still a junior.

"The whole off-season we've been working, everyone, all of us together," Leongas said. "We've been throwing out here, just great chemistry. He's (Petrucci) a great player. He's an animal, I love the kid."

The 6-foot-4, 214-pound tight end and receiver said he has 18 Division I scholarship offers spanning Power Five conferences and Mid-America Conference colleges.

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"We've got a great group of guys, we've all been working with Luke for awhile," Petrucci said. "He definitely has created a good connection with all of us, so we all feel comfortable when we're on the field, and that's a really great thing."

Initially, it was a slog as holding penalties and false starts bogged down Maine South (3-0, 3-0 CSL South). Still, on Leongas' 1-yard sneak behind center Kris Geier and left guard Arthur Hoelscher, the Hawks went up 6-0 at 7:51 of the first quarter.

Glenbrook North (1-2, 1-2) answered. The Spartans executed a nifty double-pass that went 66 yards, as quarterback Avery Burow zipped a lateral pass to receiver Ryan Henschel split out left. Henschel found receiver Zach Mendo down the left sideline. That set up Mike Cosentino's 26-yard field goal to come within 6-3 at 5:20 of the first quarter.

Spartans linebacker and long-snapper Aidan Casey, who later left the game with an injury while on punt return, sacked Leongas to get the defense off the field on Maine South's next possession. After that it was all Hawks.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

"We just have to play better, and we've got to play better fast," said coach Matt Purdy.

"We've got six days before New Trier comes to our place. It's a preparation thing, it's them taking responsibility for watching the film and having a great week of practice, and that's something we'll do as a coaching staff. We'll pull it out of them, we'll get them in the right spot," he said.

After ridding itself of the penalties, including one that negated Luke Krasik's 74-yard kickoff return following the Cosentino field goal, Maine South unleashed its full arsenal.

"Once we settled down, then we started taking care of business and we got rolling," said Hawks coach David Inserra, who in 2019 became the quickest in Illinois prep football history to reach 200 wins, then in his 20th season.

"Got it to our playmakers, Mike Sajenko and Chris, he's a big target, and Luke just settled down a little bit and played catch. Instead of trying to make the big throws, he just played catch, and things were there," Inserra said.

Maine South scored on four straight possessions to end the first half. Petrucci scored on receptions of 5, 11 and 35 yards and Sajenko ran for 4 yards to enter halftime leading 32-3.

"We came out a little slow, but we got it together, so it's all good," said Petrucci, who caught 5 passes for 69 yards. Johnny Sassan led the Hawks with 5 receptions for 95 yards and kicked a 26-yard field goal.

Drake Marquez's 37 yards rushing paced Glenbrook North. Burow added 32 yards rushing.

Despite playing a team ranked highly both by Illinois football coaches and Associated Press, Glenbrook North sought a better outcome.

"If we go back and watch the film," said Spartans safety Owen Cassell, "almost every single play we made a mistake on, whether it's from defense, missed tackles, a missed assignment or not playing together and having trust in our teammates out there on the field. We just have to be better and play together."

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