All systems go as Libertyville passes first road test

By Bill Pemstein
Daily Herald Correspondent
Updated 8/25/2017 11:18 PM

The first of four straight road games for Libertyville's football team went according to plan on Friday night.

The Wildcats used the strong running of Brendan Bazar (23 carries for 221 yards and 2 touchdown runs) and never trailed Highland Park.

Quarterback Alex Stanulis didn't turn the ball over and was remarkably consistent in the 27-14 win over the Giants.

The Wildcats' defense surrendered just one touchdown early. And no one was injured for the visitors in the nonconference matchup.

"We really worked hard in practice,'' Bazar noted. "Our offensive line made it much easier for me. We wanted to come out strong -- and we did."

Libertyville coach Mike Jones agreed with his back's assessment.

"This was a good first game for us,'' Jones said. "You work all summer long and scouting-wise, you don't have much to work with. We ran the ball well. I tell our kids, we make our biggest adjustments from game one to game two."

At one time, the Wildcats had opened up a 20-point lead and seemingly the game was out of reach.

"When it was 27-7, I told our team not to get complacent,'' Bazar said. "We have a nice tight-knit group this year. But we know there are no easy games in our conference."

Bazar was only on his third carry of the game when he found daylight and broke loose from 58 yards. The extra point went awry and five plays into the game, the Cats' had their first lead of the new season.

Matt Rudolphi extended the Libertyville lead when he made good on a 25 yard field goal late in the opening quarter.

The Giants (0-1) showed off an exciting player of their own when junior Tom Motzko caught a short touchdown pass as the first quarter came to an end. It was 9-7 Libertyville heading into the second quarter.

The second quarter opened as Libertyville quarterback, Alex Stanulis (16-for-18, 123 yards), threw three short passes. Again, Bazar took it from there and his 43-yard touchdown scamper made it 16-7.

The Cats' defense threw a shutout in the second quarter as Jon Palmieri registered a quarterback sack.

The defense again closed the door in the third quarter. Brendan Cook notched a sack. The only score came on a 17 yard run by Stanulis. He also participated in the 2-point conversion on a throw to Cook.

The lead reached 20 when field goal kicker Matt Rudolphi drilled another one, this time from 28 yards.

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