Well worth the trip for Maine West
The travel distance for Maine West on Friday night, as the Warriors made the trek for its nonconference clash in Bensenville with Fenton, was just 8.2 miles.
The performance gap turned out to be a bit wider than that.
The visiting Warriors took a business-like approach to the game and came away with a 64-13 victory.
Maine West scored the first 8 times it touched the football in putting the game's first 64 points on the scoreboard by the 5:17 mark of the second quarter.
"We had a good week of practice," Maine West coach Jason Kradman said after his squad endured a 50-minute late start due to the sophomore game finishing after 7:30 p.m., and then a nearly one-hour weather delay as a result of lightning in the area that sent both teams as well as fans in attendance inside Fenton High for safety concerns. "I felt like last week that we got off to a slow start, but tonight it felt like we came out firing on all cylinders."
The Maine West game plan succeeded in every respect, starting with a 9-play, 65-yard scoring drive.
Two-way starter Jake Bellizzi gained 20 yards on the ground during the opening series, which he finished with a 6-yard jaunt. That started the scoring barrage, which included a 40-yard completion by QB Danny Kentgen to Isaiah Siam-Davis.
David Jackson later took an Angelo Mendoza punt at the Maine West 45 and produced a 55-yard return that gave the Maine West lead 14-0 with 8:38 left in the first period.
"My guys gave me some great blocks and I knew that I had it once I saw that open lane that I has been given," Jackson said.
More disaster awaited the hosts (1-1) when a muffed punt snap left the Warriors in business at the Bison 4. Krystian Garbicz scored on the next play from scrimmage to make it 21-0.
Kentgen (10-13-197 yards) kept the Warrior offensive engine running smoothly on their next two offensive series with TD tosses to Damon Street (47 yards) and Jackson (12 yards) to make it 34-0 with 4:23 left in quarter one when the weather delay went into effect.
According to Jackson, the delay didn't wear on the players much.
"We remained hyped," Jackson said. "We've been waiting to get back on the field since the end of last season. We kept ourselves loose during that time."
"We're confident in one another," Kentgen said after the Warriors amassed 374 yards of total offense. "We have so many weapons on offense, a pretty good offensive line and a great defense on top of all that. We feel good about the direction we're headed in."
Maine West held Fenton to minus-18 yards total offense in the first quarter. The Bison finished with 193 total yards.
"That's been two weeks in a row for our guys," Kradman said. "We are fortunate to have such a talented group out there."
Next up is a return to Des Plaines for a matchup with Elk Grove next Friday.
Kradman and Co. are looking forward to the support they'll sure get from their Superfans. The Maine West coach took time to give praise to those students who were in attendance Friday night.
"I have to give a shout out to them," Kradman said. "Our guys really thrive on hearing them shout out their support. We are always excited to play in front of them at home."
St. Charles East 38, Carmel Catholic 7: As expected, St. Charles East brought its football team to Mundelein on Friday night to face Carmel Catholic in Week 2 nonconference action.
But at times, it seemed like the track team may have snuck on the bus, too.
St. Charles East ran all over Carmel early and often with long rushing and passing plays that looked more like sprints down the straightaway. That paved the way to a breezy 38-7 victory that was halted temporarily in the fourth quarter by a lightning delay.
The Saints, who scored on five of six first-half possessions, move to 2-0 on the season. Carmel drops to 0-2.
"We came out with a lot of emotion and played really well in the first half," St. Charles East coach Bryce Farquhar said. "It was just option offense. Our kids were reading who was open and they made the calls. Our quarterback (William Crossen) did a nice job in the first half coming through and checking into the right calls."
On its first possession and its second play from scrimmage, St. Charles carved up the Carmel defense with a 79-yard touchdown run by Crossen (138 rushing yards on 10 carries; 7-of-13 passes for 168 yards).
The next time St. Charles got the ball, it took only six plays before the sprint show returned. This time, it was running back Ronan Macaluso (84 yards on 7 carries) who rolled up a 46-yard touchdown run.
St. Charles' third touchdown was set up by another long run. This time by Justin Jett (148 yards on 14 carries). His 68-yard run put the Saints inside the red zone and two plays later, Crossen hit Benjamin Rogers for a pretty 15-yard touchdown pass.
Yet another big gainer set up the Saints' fourth touchdown of the first half, a 54-yard pass from Crossen to Daniel Goetsch, who made a fabulous one-handed catch in traffic along the sideline before sprinting to the 15-yard line.
That set up a 2-yard touchdown run two plays later for Jett.
-- Patricia Babcock McGraw