Stevenson bounces back, downs Mundelein
After a tough overtime loss last week against Lake Zurich, visiting Stevenson got back on the winning track in a big way Friday night at Mundelein.
The Patriots finished the first half strong to take a 23-0 lead into halftime before they overwhelmed the outmanned Mustangs in the third quarter en route to an impressive 43-0 North Suburban Conference victory.
Junior running back JeanMarc Etienne (115 yards on 16 carries) was the man of the hour for Stevenson (5-1, 3-1) right out of the gates as he ran left, ran over a Mundelein defender, then ran back to the right for a 60-yard touchdown the first time he touched the ball just 1:33 into the contest.
The first of 5 extra points by Jack Baruch made the score 7-0, and Mundelein (2-4, 1-3) really struggled offensively with starting quarterback Isaac Wellman out of the lineup due to a concussion he suffered last week against Zion-Benton.
Poor field position also hampered the Mustangs for the better part of the first half as sophomore quarterback Shawn Patrick was sacked in his own end zone resulting in a safety and a 9-0 lead for the Patriots.
Early in the second quarter the Mundelein defense did stop Etienne, and Jon Kull cold at the 1-yard-line with a great goal-line stand.
But after another four-and-out of its next possession, Etienne scored on an 8-yard run up the middle to cap a 48-yard drive for a 16-0 lead with 2:25 left in the second quarter.
Then with only 24 seconds left in the first half, Etienne caught a screen pass from Cole Okmin (15-for-26, 224 yards) before breaking two tackles on his way to the end zone for the 23-0 advantage. Etienne did not play in the second half.
"J.M. really had a nice game catching the ball and running the ball, and I'm really pleased how he's coming along," said Stevenson coach Josh Hjorth, whose team had 487 yards of total offense. "We were happy with how our kids played defense, and any time we score 43 points we can be happy with that."
A huge hit by Stevenson on the opening kickoff of the second half led to a lost fumble by Mundelein.
The Pats took advantage of that turnover when Sam Farber caught a 16-yard TD pass from Okmin in the right corner of the end zone for a 30-0 lead.
A 34-yard pass from Okmin to Farber keyed the Patriots' next scoring drive before a 26-yard pass from Okmin to Ronnie James put the ball on the Mundelein 6. Eli Fishbein scored on a 6-yard TD run to boost the lead to 37-0 midway through the third quarter.
"I thought we started off a little sloppy, but we got going after the first quarter," said Etienne, whose team outscored Mundelein 20-0 in the third quarter. "Cole (Okmin) is a great player, he is the leader of our team, he is cool under pressure, and I couldn't ask for a better quarterback for our team."
Ryan Miller (53 yards on 7 rushes) closed out the scoring with a 35-yard TD run on a quick hitter up the middle with 2:56 left in the third quarter as the rest of the game was played with a running clock.
Under heavy pressure the whole game, Patrick ran for 21 yards on 12 carries while throwing for 21 yards on 4-for-7 passing. Mundelein coach Larry Calhoun was not sure if Wellman will be ready to play next week or not.
"We've got to fine-tune some of our technique," added Hjorth. "We want to be hitting full stride when we are in week seven or eight to get ready for the playoffs."