Buffalo Grove trips up Maine West
Buffalo Grove was golden Friday night in Des Plaines.
Justin Gold had 5 sacks and Connor Adams threw 3 touchdown passes, all to Matt Prawica, as Buffalo Grove rolled past Maine West 30-7 in a battle of unbeaten high school football teams.
"It is pretty awesome," Buffalo Grove coach Jeff Vlk said. "Our defensive line has done a great job all year. They are all so coachable. They are so excited to go each week."
Buffalo Grove (3-0) has not been unbeaten in its first 3 games since 2001. And the Bison defense showed why.
Led by Gold, Tom Trieb, Patrick Conlon and Evan Lindborg, the Bison defense was ferocious. They recorded 9 sacks and a total of 11 runs for a loss and had Maine West quarterback George Markakis on his heels the whole game.
"Trieb and Gold get a lot of pub, because they work from the outside," Vlk said. "But the two inside guys, Conlon and Lindborg, really do a great job. They don't get a lot of stats, but they are making the push inside."
Gold took full advantage of that push. The 6-foot-5, 215 pound senior, who has been a starter for three seasons, rushed hard from the outside and made things miserable for the Maine West passing game.
"I was just working the swim move," Gold said. "I was pushing and pulling and doing everything my coaches taught me. I am very happy with my game tonight."
With the defense containing Maine West, the offense did a superb job as well.
On their first play from scrimmage, Trieb took a toss around the left end. He caught some nice blocks from offensive linemen Max Merriott, Tommy Konwent, Chandler Kilpatrick, Eddie Morelli and Alex Marchok and blasted off on a 80-yard touchdown run to make it 7-0.
"The O-line just blocked everyone and I just had one man to beat," said Trieb, who finished with 122 yards on 11 carries.
"The line just does a great job of making the blocks and I just find the holes to run through."
Things did not get better for Maine West (2-1), which was looking for its first 3-0 start since 1989. On their very next series, the Warriors gave up a safety after a bad snap to make it 9-0 Buffalo Grove.
With the momentum all in their direction, Buffalo Grove turned things up.
Adams, who is a junior and is in his second year as the the starting quarterback, showed that he is learning his trade well. Adams found Prawica open down the sideline and tossed a perfect scoring strike to make it 16-0 just before the end of the first quarter.
"We are all working real well together," said Adams, who finished 19-of-28 for 212 yards.
"The line is keeping me protected and just let ten receivers do what they do."
Prawica was a perfect example of that in the second quarter when he made a terrific catch on the sideline for a 14-yard touchdown that made it 23-0.
The duo connected again in the third quarter to cap a 16-play, 87-yard drive that consumed nearly eight minutes. Adams tossed a sweet fade pass to Prawica in the back on the end zone from 10 yards out to make it 30-0.
"Connor just gave me a chance and I made some plays," said Prawica, who had 8 receptions for 110 yards.
Maine West finally was able to mount an offensive attack on the ensuing series.
Markakis, who despite being under pressure all night, finished 19-of-29 for 179 yards. He hit tight end Matt Kentgen on a 6-yard touchdown pass that ended an 8-play, 62-yard drive.
Maine West coach Jason Kradman said that the Buffalo Grove pass rush was a major factor in the game.
"We just didn't do a very good job up front," Kradman said. "They came off the edge and we couldn't pass against them, and play action was tough as well. We have a younger offensive line and we got exposed today."