Stevenson turns out the lights on Zion-Benton
Host Stevenson had to overcome some obstacles in its Homecoming game, but in the end it was all worth it Friday night when the Patriots took on Zion-Benton in North Suburban Conference football action.
The stadium lights on both the home and visitors sides of the north side of the field went out late in the first quarter with Stevenson (2-2, 2-0) leading the Zee-Bees 7-0 in front of a large home crowd.
But after a 40-minute delay when crews were only able to get three of the four light towers working, the teams agreed to play more than three quarters of the contest with only three light towers shining.
That did not bother the Patriots and standout running back Jean-Marc Etienne at all as Stevenson built a 14-6 halftime lead before rolling to a 35-14 NSC victory over Zion-Benton (1-3, 0-2).
Etienne ran for a total of 156 yards on 18 carries as his 13-yard TD run with 4:06 remaining in the third quarter gave the Patriots a commanding 28-6 lead as Matthew Spilotro was a perfect 5-for-5 on extra points overall.
"As the game went along I felt our linemen were doing a great job of giving me seams," said Etienne, who also had a 3-yard TD run earlier in the third quarter for a 21-6 lead. "We put in a great amount of work with Liam (Crawley) in the offseason, and we have a lot of confidence with him at quarterback so it was pretty seamless."
Filling in for the second week for starting quarterback Justin Hiller, Crawley was very solid for Stevenson with 11-for-22 passing for 103 yards.
An 18-yard touchdown run by Jordan Vincent (38 yards on 3 rushes) got the Pats on the scoreboard 7:31 into the contest as Vincent exploded down the right sideline for the early 7-0 advantage.
The Zee-Bees did respond with some pretty impressive trickery as a double-pass from quarterback Eric Franklin to running back Jordan Chisum to wide receiver Brian Dowdell resulted in a 40-yard scoring play as Zion-Benton only trailed 7-6 with 6:30 left in the first half.
But Crawley marched his team 58 yards on 6 plays with a 31-yard draw play to Etienne putting the ball on the Zee-Bees' 9-yard-line.
Two plays later, Vincent caught a 9-yard TD pass from Crawley as Vincent knocked down the left pylon after catching the low throw near the ground for a 14-6 lead with only 27 seconds left in the second quarter.
"We play in a tough league so to get a win is the most important thing and they played solid," said Stevenson coach Brent Becker, whose team had 374 yards of total offense. "It was a happy homecoming, and Etienne is the heart and soul of our team."
"Liam (Crawley) came in as the starter this week, I think he handled it well, and he did a nice job," added Becker, who expects Hiller to return from his injury in a few weeks. "The defense was stingy,- they were attacking and swarming the ball."
Sophomore running back Floyd Glinsey (34 yards on 5 carries) scored on a 16-yard TD run as Glinsey made a defender miss going up the middle for a 35-6 lead with 9:42 to play.
Chisum (62 yards on 19 rushes) scored on an 11-yard TD run with 7:39 remaining after teammate Mikhael Taylor had taken the ball down to the Stevenson 11 with a 59 yard run moments earlier. Chisum also added a 2-point run to account for the final score.
The Zee-Bees struggled trying to throw the ball with only 55 yards overall, including the 40-yard TD pass by Chisum.