More fireworks from Niro, Barrington
There was another Ray Niro explosion Saturday afternoon in Barrington.
The Broncos senior quarterback rushed for 3 touchdowns, threw for 3 more and even caught a touchdown pass as Barrington rolled past previously unbeaten Hoffman Estates 47-21 in a homecoming game skills showcase.
"You have to give it up to our coaches, the offensive line and the wide receivers because they do so much work and make me look good," Niro said. "Our scout defense did a great job, too. Everything we saw on the field today, we saw in practice this week."
Niro must have done a nice job of taking it all in. He rushed for 165 yards, threw for 156 yards on 5-of-7 passing and caught a 37-yard touchdown pass -- with most of that coming in the first half.
"Obviously, Ray did a great job today," Barrington coach Joe Sanchez said. "Our guys did a fantastic job of blocking and helping to create space. It was a lot of fun today."
The outcome leaves Barrington (7-0, 3-0) in firm command of the Mid-Suburban West race. The Broncos are now the only unbeaten team in either division of the MSL.
"Hoffman has a great team," Niro said. "We aren't counting anything. I am so proud of our team. It shows how we fought and how much fight we still have."
"Our kids came our ready to go," Sanchez said. "It was a great win today for the team and the program. We still have a lot of work to do."
It was 3-2-1 -- Kaboom! -- for Niro and Barrington in the first half.
Niro led a 26-point Barrington burst in the first quarter.
On the Broncos' first possession, he threw a perfect strike to Alex Andrea, who split the Hoffman defense and produced a 65-yard touchdown play. Niro then ran for the 2-point conversion and Barrington was on its way.
Next, Niro scored on a 26-yard run on Barrington's next possession to make it 14-0.
And then Niro showed why his is one of the most dynamic players in the state.
Flushed after dropping back to pass, Niro broke a pair of tackles, rolled to his left and connected with a wide open Johnny Gagne in the corner of the end zone on a 34-yard touchdown pass to make it 20-0 with 2:30 left in the first quarter.
Barrington was not done yet in the first quarter.
Right after Andrea intercepted a pass at the Hoffman Estates 39, Barrington called for a quarterback comeback pass. Niro, who'd not caught a touchdown pass since he was in seventh grade, hauled in one from Gagne, who was happy to return the favor.
"It was great to be able to throw a touchdown pass," Gagne said. "We are playing very well right now."
Niro fired another touchdown pass to Andrea, this one from 20 yards out early in the second quarter, to make it 32-0 and Barrington was rolling.
"It is a just a dirty show for us," Andrea said. "We came out and did it right and did our thing. We are just trying to remain humble and hungry."
Hoffman Estates got on the board when Austin Coalson threw a quick slant pass to Jaylan Alexander on a 11-yard touchdown pass to cut the deficit to 32-7 5:19 left in the first half.
Niro still wasn't done.
With his team facing a fourth-and-1 at midfield, he called his number on the read option. Like a gymnast, Niro spun and bounced his way around the Hoffman defenders on his way to a spectacular touchdown run.
Niro threw 3 touchdown passes, ran for 2 others and caught a TD pass as Barrington rolled to a 40-14 halftime advantage. Hoffman Estates was able to close a the gap a bit when the Hawks scored on a 9-yard pass from Coalson to Mike Eppenbaugh.
Niro put the finishing touches on Barington's scoring and his big day when he scored on a 19-yard run.
Coalson, who finished 17-of-27 for 208 yards, threw his third touchdown pass of the day when he connected with Will Nunne on a 36-yard touchdown pass to close out the game's scoring.
Hoffman Estates coach Tim Heyse said that the quick onslaught by Niro and Barrington did his team in.
"The first quarter says it all," Heyse said. "We played even after that. The plan was to keep Niro off the field. He is tough to tackle."