Maine South maintains grip over CSL South in tough win at Glenbrook South
Like Glenbrook South senior linebacker Luke Marino said, it takes a lot to beat Maine South in football.
Glenbrook South hadn't done so since 1991 when current head coach Dave Schoenwetter was a sophomore quarterback in the program.
Since 2002 coach Dave Inserra's Hawks have lost once in the Central Suburban League South, in 2016 to New Trier. That determined the conference champion.
Friday's game at John Davis Stadium in Glenview likely did the same thing.
"All week we had this preparation that this was going to be one of the hardest games, and the CSL was won on this game," said Maine South running back Michael Dellumo.
The sophomore's toughness and athleticism snapped a halftime tie and led Maine South past Glenbrook South, 23-16.
Dellumo's 48-yard punt return, paired with kicker Sam Taglia's extra point, gave the Hawks a 16-9 lead at 9:52 of the third quarter.
Dellumo scored the winning touchdown with 33.4 seconds left in the fourth quarter, a rugged 12-yard run, bouncing and spinning off Titans defenders.
"There was a bunch of people hitting me. My only goal was just to try to get in the end zone," said Marino, limping after he ran the ball 9 times for 71 yards.
"I was going downhill, straight, and then I saw a lane to the outside. I just took it," he said. "I was going to the ground, and I just reached the ball over and looked to the ref to make sure it was a touchdown."
It was, and quieted a gutsy effort by Glenbrook South (5-1, 1-1).
"I was real proud of how our kids played. I thought they played with great passion and great effort," Schoenwetter said.
"We've been chipping away every year trying to get closer to the point that Maine South is at. They've got a great football program, and I think we took another step in that direction. Just not quite there tonight."
The game began about as well as the Titans coach could have wanted, up 9-0 after one quarter against Maine South (4-2, 2-0).
"That start gave us a lot of energy. It's what we needed," Marino said. "Being the underdogs, we've got to come out, make a statement, and that's what we did."
Marino's sack for a 15-yard loss on the Hawks' third play from scrimmage forced a punt, in which the long snap flew over punter Ethan Stumpf's head and out of the end zone for a Titans safety and 2-0 lead.
Getting the ball right back, Titans fullback Hank Leahy and tailback Chuck Gottfred paced a 67-yard scoring drive. Gottfred capped it on a fourth-down run from a yard out, following Leahy's lead block behind guard Johnny Rolfes.
Jacob Priegnitz's kick gave the home team a 9-0 lead at 3:16 of the second quarter.
"We said don't flinch, don't flinch," Inserra said. "That was my motto in the locker room tonight. Don't flinch -- you're going to take some punches early, but you've just got to stand toe to toe and go all 48 minutes. That's what we did."
The Hawks' spread offense, playing up-tempo all game, countered.
Quarterback Jack DeFilippis' 48-yard pass to tight end Ryan Pothast, and later a 22-yard hook-and-ladder play, moved Maine South from its own 18-yard line.
A combination sack by Glenbrook South's Jacque Gariepy and Jack Haravon made the Hawks settle for Taglia's 33-yard field goal to trim the deficit to 9-3 on the first play of the second quarter.
Next time out, Maine South paired Dellumo's 16-yard run with a Titans personal foul penalty to reach the red zone. The Hawks promptly fumbled, but recovered and tied the score 9-9 at 8:56 of the second quarter on DeFilippis' 26-yard touchdown pass to wide-open slot receiver Matt Romano.
Dellumo's punt return gave the Hawks their first lead. Glenbrook South answered with its best offensive possession of the game.
Running the football 13 of 14 plays starting from the 20-yard line, with a pass interference call thrown in, Gottfred, Leahy and quarterback Hunter Kreske drove the ball 74 yards to set up a score.
From Maine South's 6-yard line, Kreske rolled left and found tight end Gariepy dragging the back of the end zone for a touchdown pass. Priegnitz's kick tied the score 16-16 with 55.6 seconds left in the third quarter.
Tommy MacPherson's 38-yard kickoff return following Dellumo's game-winning run gave Maine South a scare, but the Titans were unable to crack midfield in three fourth-quarter possessions. Sam Cooper's interception with 12 seconds left clinched the Hawks victory.
Gottfred and Leahy combined for 159 yards rushing on 34 carries. Kreske ran for 33 yards.
"It takes a lot" to beat Maine South, said Marino, whose fourth-down tackle on DeFilippis ended an early fourth quarter Hawks threat at the 8-yard line.
"It takes playing a full 48 minutes, perfect effort, very disciplined. They're a very good football team. I thought we played a great game, but just couldn't do enough," he said.