Stevenson has easy time with Zion-Benton

By Chris Kwiecinski
Daily Herald Correspondent
Updated 9/14/2018 11:22 PM

Whenever Stevenson struck up a score or turnover the Patriots' sideline erupted, shouting "party" over and over.

And the Patriots partied all night in Zion.


Behind quarterback Cole Okmin's four touchdown passes and a bend-but-don't-break defense, Stevenson (4-0, 2-0) remained the last unbeaten in the North Suburban Conference with a 51-14 win over Zion-Benton (1-3, 0-2) Friday night.

Still, even after a dominating conference win, Patriots coach Josh Hjorth said he wants to see his team improve in a few areas.

"We've got a lot of teams loading up the box because of or run game, so that's one of the things we've got to work on," Hjorth said.

Before Okmin could even get started, Jacob Loch returned the Bees' first punt 45 yards to the house to put Stevenson up 7-0.

Okmin tossed three first-half touchdown, while Stevenson's defense stepped two Zion-Benton fourth down attempts. The Bees got one score on the board before halftime, but they were already in a 28-7 hole.

"They were blitzing a lot of guys, we knew it was going to be hard to run the ball at first," Okmin said. "

"He had a pretty nice night," Hjorth said of his quarterback. "Were pretty happy with how we played."

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Zion-Benton quarterback Romey Crawford kept the Patriots defense honest with his daul-threat style, passing for 167 yards and running for 99. But Stevenson's defense forced four turnovers from him, leading to scores on two occasions.

Stevenson poured on 20 second-half points, including long touchdowns of 80 and 54 yards on back-to-back drives in the fourth quarter that put the game out of reach.

Those two long scores were by two sophomores; Ryan Miller erupted on his 80 scamper, and Jayden McFadden broke a few tackles on his 54-yard catch-and-run.

"We knew they had some fast cornerbacks, so they like to press," Okmin said. "We had to go over the top, and that was really our game plan. It worked in the first half in order to open up the running game more in the second half.


Okmin exited the game in the fourth quarter after his fourth and final touchdown throw, said throwing his over abundance of offensive threats stems from the trust he puts in his team.

"We're all brothers," Okmin said. "We all trust each other on every single play. The offense trusts the defense, and the defense trusts the offense to put up points."

The defense also played their part in the scone half, intercepting Crawford three times. Zach Baurer recorded two of those picks, one which halted a Bee's drive that was in Stevenson territory.

Stevenson will head back home to take on Lake Zurich next week, and Zion-Benton will travel to Mundelein to take on the Mustangs.

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