Maine West toppled Elk Grove 34-7 Friday night.

 
 
Updated 9/11/2018 4:21 PM
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  • Maine West's Jake Bellizzi (left) celebrates his first touchdown of the night with teammate Costa Paschos in the first quarter against Elk Grove at Maine West on Friday.

      Maine West's Jake Bellizzi (left) celebrates his first touchdown of the night with teammate Costa Paschos in the first quarter against Elk Grove at Maine West on Friday. Mark Welsh | Staff Photographer

  • Elk Grove's Ian Ridge adds a 30-yard punt return in the second quarter to his highlight reel as Maine West's Ely Grimmer closes the gap in the varsity matchup at Maine West on Friday.

      Elk Grove's Ian Ridge adds a 30-yard punt return in the second quarter to his highlight reel as Maine West's Ely Grimmer closes the gap in the varsity matchup at Maine West on Friday. Mark Welsh | Staff Photographer

Maine West's football players weren't even born in 1979.

But this year's group of Warriors are showing they were born to run and block, just like that 1979 team which was the last to go 3-0 since it happened again on Friday night in Des Plaines.

Running behind the blocking of Danny Daood, Mike Bartusiak, Amir Cavic, Lindin Ujkashi, Costa Paschos and Michael Wilson, running back Jake Bellizzi gained 124 yards (17 carries) and scored 3 touchdowns in the first half of a 34-7 triumph over visiting Elk Grove.

"He is a motor, he doesn't stop," said Paschos of Bellizzi, who had to leave the game midway through the third quarter with a bruised hip according to coach Jason Kradman. "He just keeps going and we'll block for him any day."

"We love blocking for Jake because he reminds us of us," Cavic added. "We are tough in the trenches like he is. "

Elk Grove put up some tough defense in the second half, limiting the Warriors to one score, a 6-yard TD run by Ely Grimmer which gave West the 34-7 lead with 7:04 left in the game.

The Grenadiers (0-3) scored their only touchdown on a 9-yard TD run by Ian Ridge (67 yards ruhsing) with 8:26 left in the third quarter.

"I think our defensive coaching staff did a good job challenging our kids and they came out ready to go in the second half," said Elk Grove coach Miles Osei. "Offensively, we've just got to get way better. Our kids work hard and Charlie (Janczak, the quarterback who rushed for 98 yards) works hard.

"There are definitely things we have to shore up, read-wise, and things like that. We'll look at the film and get better."

Kradman and the Warriors will see 12 penalties costing them 100 yards when they look at the film which cost them 100 yards.

"It was ugly," Kradman said. "The ugliest 34-7 win that I've seen. We had too many pre-snap penalties. But as ugly as it was, there are some real positives to take from the win."

One of them is the defense which has given up only 3 touchdown in three games.

Lineman Sam Corey came up with the last big play of the night with a big sack on fourth-and-7 for the Grenadiers at the Warriors' 37-yard line with less than five minutes to go.

"Krystian Garbicz and Josh Schake, two of our linebackers, played excellent games," Kradman said. "Emmanuel Ajose and Isaiah Slem-Davis put a lot of pressure on the quarterback. And Sam Corey did a real nice job as our inside tackle, and he made that huge play on fourth down. I thought our secondary, even though there were some issues at times, played the ball well when it was in the air."

Kradman also said the Warriors also missed Daood, who injured a knee, and was replaced by Wilson.

"We're not sure about Danny's status right now," Kradman said. "And Jake's (Bellizzi) hip was little sore and bruised when he went out so we'll see how he is."

Grimmer picked up a lot of the carries for Bellizzi in the backfield, finishing with 67 yards on 12 carries.

In addition to Bellizzi's 3, 5 and 4-yard TD runs in the first half, Slem Davis had the other Warriors TD when he caught a 6-yard pass from quarterback Danny Kentgen, who threw for more than 100 yards, completing 10 of 18 passes.

"It's crazy," Kradman said about his team being the first at West to go 3-0 since 1979. "We're excited. One of our goals was to go undefeated in nonconference play and we're three quarters of the way there. Now we have too finish the job next week.

"Elk Grove is a good team and they are well coached. They never quit."

Just like Kradman's offensive line never quit even when Bellizzi left the field.

"Our offensive line played real well," Kradman said. "When we needed to run the ball, we were able to do it behind that big line. At times, they were having trouble tackling Jake. He is a big body, 6-foot, 225 pounds and he runs behind his paths. So he is the kind of guy we need. Our play-action game is set up off the success of how we run the ball."

Cavic and Paschos are thankful for the Warriors training and coaching staff s and their fans.

"Our coaches help make us the players we are," Cavic said. "We came into the game ready to pound and we knew right way we were going to run often and very hard. And we have to credit our training staff which has kept us healthy. They do a real good job for us."

"And the whole Maine West school has been great getting behind us and cheering us on" Paschos added. "Even when things are going slow for us on the field, they are still going crazy and that helps fires us up. This was a great game and a lot of fun."

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