Hersey tops Maine West to move to 4-0

By Dick Quagliano
Daily Herald Correspondent
Updated 9/15/2018 12:20 AM

The two quarterback system has been difficult at best to operate.

But not at Hersey.

Hersey's Ryan Justice and Jordan Hansen have made it look easy. So easy that the Huskies are unbeaten to start the season.

Justice and Hansen were at it again Friday as the pair combined for 5 touchdown passes and a running touchdown as Hersey upended previously unbeaten Maine West 51-28 in the Huskies' home opener in Arlington Heights.

"Both guys bring different things to the table," Hersey coach Joe Pardun said. "We have a lot of confidence in both guys.

"Jordan is obviously a good playmaker and Ryan has been lights out in just managing the offense. So if it is working, we are going to stay with it and people are going to have to choose who they defend."

Both Justice, who is a senior, and Hansen, who is a junior, are very comfortable in splitting time.

"It works good," said Justice, who was 10-of-17 for 212 yards and 3 touchdowns.

"Whatever helps the team is perfect for me. Coach know what he is doing. Everything is perfect right now."

Hansen, who is more of read-option type quarterback, rushed for 118 yards on 14 carries and had a touchdown. He also threw 2 touchdown passes and was 3-of-3 for 107 yards.

"It is a great system," said Hansen, who also had an interception on defense.

"Our team just makes it work. We just go in there and execute and make plays."

Also making some huge plays for the Huskies was wide receiver Kacper Rutkiewicz. The "Ghost" hauled in 7 passes for 157 yards and 3 touchdowns. He also had an interception on defense.

"Early in the game we went down and we never gave up," Rutkiewicz said. "My quarterbacks trust me and I trust them. When I get my opportunity, I try to make the best of it."

Things have worked to perfection for Hersey, which is 4-0 for the first time since 1975. The Huskies have racked up 183 points heading into MSL East conference play next week.

"We are just growing up," Pardun said. "I am always looking for how we grow as a football team and I told the kids tonight from where we were in the summer and where we are now, we are maturing."

Maine West (3-1), which had won its first 3 games of a season for the first time since 1976, jumped to a 7-0 lead early in the first quarter.

Danny Kentgen, who would finish 12-of-23 for 122 yards and 4 touchdowns, connected with Damon Street.

Hersey responded with a touchdown of their own as Alex Karburov scored the first of his two touchdowns to tie the game at 7.

Maine West showed why they are one of the top teams in the Central Suburban League North. The Warriors forged ahead 15-7 on a 2-yard run by Jake Bellizzi (16 carries, 78 yards) and a conversion run by Sean Collins following a bobbled snap.

Hersey then opened up the game by scoring 3 touchdowns in the 3:09 of the first half to surge ahead 26-15.

Hansen had 2 yards to open that scoring streak. After a short punt, Justice connected on a 30-yard touchdown pass to Rutkiewicz. Then after Hansen returned and interception to the Warrior 15, Hansen hooked up on a 15-yard touchdown pass to Vince Carso.

The Huskies then took the second half kickoff and thanks to some nifty running by Hansen, moved the ball down the field. Justice completed the scoring drive by throwing again to Rutkiewicz as the Huskies opened up a 33-15 lead.

The teams traded score from there with Kentgen throwing touchdown passes to Isaiah Siem-Davis and to Sean Collins. Hersey would get tallies from Kaburov, Rutkiewicz on a 57-yarder from Justice and Nick Steger on a 75-yarder from Hansen.

Hersey also forced 5 turnovers. The Huskies had 4 interceptions with Anthony Cardi picking off two passes.

"It wasn't our best game tonight," Maine West coach Jason Kradman said. "But we will be better for next week."

The game was also delayed for about 20 minutes when Hersey running back Luke Picchiotti was injured. He was taken to an area hospital for precautionary observation.

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