Fitzpatrick, Barrington jolt Buffalo Grove
In his two starts, Barrington quarterback Tommy Fitzpatrick is keeping the tradition alive.
Barrington, which has been home the last six seasons to three terrific quarterbacks, was hoping that Fitzpatrick, who is a junior, would become the fourth.
So far, so good.
Fitzpatrick, who led the Broncos to a win last week, extended the trend as Barrington rolled past host Buffalo Grove 37-0 in a weather-delayed game Friday.
"I was proud of the ways our kids responded," Barrington coach Joe Sanchez said. "I am really proud of Tommy. As we said in the beginning, everybody is going to do it differently. Our job is to find what is his way. And he is only going to get better."
Before the lightning, it was Fitzpatrick who was flashing brightly.
He rushed for 2 touchdowns and had gained 91 yards on 16 carries. He also was 12-of-16 passing for 172 yards.
"It has been a lot of fun," Fitzpatrick said. "Playing for varsity as a junior is a big responsibility and I am excited to keep going."
One of the places Fitzpatrick went was to fellow junior Eric Darlington, who caught 6 passes for 114 yards.
"Tommy has been great hitting me," Darlington said. "I am getting open and he is finding me."
Buffalo Grove played nearly the whole first half without the services Tom Trieb, who injured his hip early in the first quarter on a non-contact play. The NIU-bound Trieb played safety on defense to begin the game.
After a defensive stop, Trieb flanked out to the left. Bison quarterback Connor Adams dropped a perfect pass down the sideline that Trieb hailed in nicely and went out bounds -- but as he came down, he jarred his hip. Trieb played a few plays after, but spent most of the game on the sidelines.
Fitzpatrick then busted off a 40-yard run down to the Buffalo Grove 16. Three plays later, Fitzpatrick scored on an 8-yard run to make it 7-0 with 5:54 left in the first quarter.
An interception by Barrington's Mark Di Iorio set up the Broncos' next score.
"It was a crazy turn of events," Di Iorio said. "I dropped out quick and I saw him pull his arm, so I took my coverage."
Di Iorio returned the interception to the Buffalo Grove 44. Fitzpatrick scored 5 plays later on a 1-yard run to make it 14-0 with 2:23 left in the first half.
After nearly an hour lightning delay, Barrington had a thunderous return to the game.
The Broncos exploded in the third quarter for 17 points to put it away.
Michael Curran, who rushed for 83 yards on 14 carries, sprung loose on a 15-yard touchdown run to make it 17-0. Curran, a senior, said Fitzpatrick has showed great poise running the read-option.
"Tommy is awesome," Curran said. "He is learning really quickly. Probably quicker than anyone I have ever seen. He has learned the offense and different reads. He is a stud."
After a 28-yard field goal by William Hutchinson, it was the defense's turn to score. Hayden Kraus, who would later intercept a pass, blocked a punt and then received it in the end zone on the final play of the third quarter to make it 31-0.
"I thought our defense was very good tonight " Sanchez said. "They got after the ball every well."
That defense, led by Kraus, Di Iorio, Dayven Shinhoster, Lukas Van Ness and Matt Reedy, held Buffalo Grove to just 5 first downs in the first three quarters.
Will Koehler closed out the scoring for the Broncos with a 7-yard touchdown run in the final quarter.
Buffalo Grove coach Jeff Vlk said the injury to Trieb was difficult for his team.
"Tom went out right away, and I think that took the wind out of our sails," Vlk said. "We need to respond better and I told the kids that. And that is on me. Somewhere along the way I didn't prepare them enough. So tomorrow we will got the reset button and bury this film in the archives."