Buffalo Grove starts -- and finishes -- fast against Niles West
Just like in last season's opener, Buffalo Grove's football team took an early 10-point lead against Niles West.
This time, the Bison didn't let the Wolves rally.
Instead, they nearly posted a shutout while zooming away to a 40-7 rout Friday night.
Connor Adams threw for 205 yards and a touchdown before leaving in the fourth quarter with an injured left hand. He also ran for another score, and Tom Trieb had a pair of touchdowns on the ground. T.J. West returned the final of Niles West's four turnovers, a fumble, for a 48-yard score as time expired.
"Last year, when we went up 10-0, we thought we had it in the bag, and we were just going to roll over them. When they fought back, we didn't know what to do," Trieb said of the 28-25 loss. "This year, we just kept our foot on the gas pedal. We just kept going at them, putting up points and stopping them."
Trieb ran for 82 yards on 11 carries, and was part of a defense that held Niles West to minus-7 yards and 1 first down in the opening half. The Bison finished with a 343-136 advantage in yardage and Niles West fumbled seven times, losing three.
Buffalo Grove turned two special teams miscues into its 10-0 lead in the first quarter, a Trieb 14-yard run and the first of two field goals from Ryan Mueller. The Bison converted another fumble early in the second quarter into a touchdown, Adams' 8-yard scoring run. The junior quarterback then connected with Jacob Schwartz on a 5-yard pass as part of the Bison's march toward a 27-point halftime lead and an insurmountable advantage.
The Wolves avoided the shutout with 3:21 remaining on John Trinh's 1-yard run, which capped a 15-play drive.
"I think our defensive line did a great job, stopping them on the inside. I thought our linebackers flowed downhill really well. Our (defensive backs) did a nice job in the run game. Our offense got moving. We stalled a little bit in the red zone, but once we get our feet wet a little bit, we'll be a force to be reckoned with," said Jeff Vlk, who made his Buffalo Grove coaching debut in last season's loss at Niles West. "It's a different group of kids this year. A lot of the guys who played last year weren't as mature as they are this year."
Seeing Adams with his left hand wrapped in ice might have put a damper on the victory, but Vlk indicated that his quarterback could be ready for next week's game at Conant.
"He'll be fine. Worst case scenario, we'll have to put a pad on it, but he's fine," Vlk said. "It's nothing we're concerned about at all."