Frederick, Conant dump Glenbrook South to move to 3-0
The full moon on Friday the 13th may not have changed Conant junior halfback Malik Frederick into something supernatural but one may have thought so Friday night. His 2 touchdowns helped the Cougars to a 28-14 nonconference win over Glenbrook South.
Both of Frederick's touchdowns were breakaway scampers for over 40 yards (49 and 95 rushes respectively).
"It more was just about figuring out the defense, they were shifting around a lot on the line," Frederick said. "The offense has been doing a great job. It's really been a whole team effort no matter how many touches I get. It takes everybody to do their job, so I can do my job and help contribute."
The undefeated Cougars didn't get off to the strongest of starts as they had issues moving the ball offensively in the first quarter.
However Glenbrook South (0-3) had its own issues dealing with the Cougars defense. Conant's defense was relentless keeping the Titans off the board for two and a half quarters.
Defensive standout senior lineman Derek Lewandowski tallied 3 sacks and a forced fumble (all in the first half) that Conant recovered.
Although the defense displayed a stellar performance, Conant coach Bryan Stortz believes there is a high ceiling with his team and that there's always room for improvement.
"(The Conant defense) played extremely hard," Stortz said. "(Conant has) done a really good job of running to the football and doing things like that. But we've made mistakes. There are a couple little things that we need to fix on our end, but all and all their effort has made up for it. The defense has really stepped it up in a lot of situations too. There's still room for growth."
Late in the first quarter, Conant senior safety and punt returner Jeremy Betencourt was in back of the special teams awaiting a fourth down GBS punt. Upon retrieving the pigskin, the senior caught a couple of blocks from his teammates and Betencourt saw a light at the end of a tunnel. He darted for a 64-yard return.
The Betencourt touchdown was the lone score for both teams as Conant nursed a 7-0 lead going into half.
Following a GBS three-and-out, Conant had a short field to work with starting from its own 45-yard line. Two plays later, Frederick registered the first of his 2 touchdowns to put the Cougars up 14-0. The Conant halfback tallied 240 yards from scrimmage.
"Towards the end of the game we figured it out," Frederick said. "The line did a great job of allowing me to find the holes and finish the runs."
Following a short punt by Conant, GBS also received an advantage. The Titans pieced together a slew of rushes completing the drive with senior Andrew Gall punching in a 3-yard run and cutting the deficit to 14-6.
Although Conant lost the turnover battle (losing 3 fumbles), the Cougars were able to still pull out the victory. GBS failed to capitalize after recovering a fumble on the ensuing drive. The Titans turned the ball over on downs at Conant's 5-yard line.
And that's when the full moon kicked in.
Within 30 seconds, late in the fourth quarter, Conant found the end zone on two separate occasions.
On the first play following the GBS turnover on downs, Frederick burst through the line and crossed the finish line with Titans behind him on his 95-yard dash score. Frederick, who also moonlights as a kicker solely for kickoffs, put a foot into a short boot on the following kick as senior Ronald Williams jumped on the loose ball to regain possession.
The subsequent play was a handoff end zone rendezvous to Conant senior Jack Hominac from 31 yards out. The Hominac touchdown made the contest a three-score game, and too large of a deficit for GBS to climb back.
GBS would tack on a touchdown and 2-point conversion after Titans junior quarterback Michael Bauer tossed a jump ball 20-yard score to the back corner of the end zone to senior wideout Chris Demirlika late in the fourth quarter.
Conant competes in its final nonconference game this season next week against New Trier (1-2), before beginning Mid-Suburban League West play.
"Got a lot of work to do," Betencourt said when asked about the Cougars' 3-0 start. "We watched a lot of film (this) week. I told the guys (during the win) that (GBS) is going to fight. They're a tough team fighting all the way till the end. Show no sympathy. Go at it every single play. We'll win our games as long as we play great defense."