Vernon Hills savors winning flavor
Vernon Hills' football team saw a good opportunity to erase six weeks of bad taste from their mouths.
By the time junior quarterback Derek Jarrell and the Cougars offense took command, Maine East had no chance.
Led by a 393-yard, 6-touchdown effort from Jarrell and his cast of four receivers, the Cougars returned to the win column with a 42-14 romp over the Blue Demons at Maine Memorial Stadium.
"Definitely for the morale of the team, it was good to get a win," said Jarrell. "That was our goal this week and we did it. The feeling was be loose and have fun, and, for the seniors, we want them to leave high school strong."
After a fumbled marred its opening drive, Vernon Hills (2-6, 1-3) scored each of its 42 points unanswered on its next six possessions.
Jarrell went to the skies early with a 33-yard scoring strike to senior Luke Perlin -- their first of three scoring connections on the night.
Drive three needed just one play for paydirt as the signal-caller landed a 26-yarder to Quinn Geren for six. The Cougars capped the first quarter with Jarrell's 9-yard touchdown throw to Max Lyle.
The second and third quarters saw Perlin and Geren come up big in the passing game. Gerren capped the first half with a 5-yard scoring haul, then Perlin reeled in touchdowns from 28 and 49 in the third quarter to prompt the clock rule.
"It was nice to put some points on the board," said Vernon Hills coach Bill Bellecomo. "We haven't really been closing out drives in the red zone. It was nice to make some big plays and gain some momentum.
"The last few weeks we haven't gained the momentum. We've played a poor first quarter and had to play catchup. It was nice to get out in front and never let up."
Maine East (1-7, 0-4), which failed to get anything going on the ground over the first 34 minutes of regulation caught a break late in the third quarter with a 78-yard scoring run from Kobe Cowan.
Cowan, who led the Blue Demons with 89 yards on 17 carries, capped the game after a late Cougar fumble with a 13-yard score with 23 seconds remaining.
Vernon Hills outgained the Blue Demons 373 to 86 in offensive yardage despite 2 turnovers and 95 yards in penalties.
Aiding Jarrell's big night was an eight-catch, 195-yard, 3-touchdown performance from Perlin. Geren added 5 catches for 101 yards and his two scores, while Max Lyle tallied five grabs for 61 yards and a score.
Next week the Cougars cap regular season play at home with Glenbrook North, while the Blue Demons host Highland Park.