Warren moves to 4-0 by blanking Libertyville
The Warren-Libertyville game was a defensive quagmire until the visiting Blue Devils decided to play a game of "get it in the hands of your best athlete."
Christian Phillips is arguably the best athlete on Warren's roster. There are plenty of candidates. Phillips had a 64-yard run, a 66-yard reception and scored 4 touchdowns as Warren stayed unbeaten with a 34-0 win Friday in the North Suburban Conference.
He ran out of the Wildcat sometimes, taking the direct snap from center. He lined up at wide receiver the rest of the time. But according to Phillips, it's not the Wildcat formation. He's just playing QB.
"I'm actually on our QB depth chart, so it's a little bit of both," Phillips said. "I'm one of the guys. I throw a lot in practice. Just haven't really had to in the game. I've just been running.
"I don't really like being categorized. I feel like I could be all over the place. I'm definitely going to college as an athlete, so I just want to be all over the place."
Phillips finished with 110 rushing yards on 11 carries. The 5-foot-11 senior transferred to Warren a year ago from Urbana High School.
"This is definitely a big move for my family. We'd been in Champaign my whole life," Phillips said. "When I first came, it was definitely an explosion of culture change. I had to buy in and figure things out. I like that these guys work hard."
Another of Warren's offensive standouts transferred from North Chicago this summer. Senior Trinate Jacobs rotated at quarterback with Phil Hird. Jacobs completed 6 of 7 passes for 105 yards.
The 66-yard touchdown was just a quick sideline throw. The defensive back was giving about 10 yards of cushion and when he ran forward to try to make the tackle, Phillips put on a move and turned on the jets, sprinting all the way to the end zone.
"Trinate transferred in over the summer and him and Phil compete every single day," said defensive coordinator Justin Van Schaik, who handled media duties at the request of head coach Bryan McNulty.
"I think one Friday night it's Phil, the next night it could be Trinate, the next play it could be Christian. Those kids, they're really tight. They all believe in each other. They believe whoever's in there."
Libertyville (1-3, 0-2) hung around for a while, but had a hard time moving the ball against Warren's notoriously aggressive defense. Cole Fiorenza intercepted a long pass on Warren's first offensive play, but the Wildcats managed just 2 first downs and 33 total yards in the first half.
Libertyville used both Blake Ellingson and Dylan Drumke at quarterback, but both players struggled against the Devils' pass rush. The Wildcats' offensive highlights were a 29-yard pass from Ellingson to Sam Paden, then a 48-yard run by junior Matt Brenner in the fourth quarter.
Marc Davila had an interception for Warren (4-0, 2-0), while Seamus Mellican collected three sacks. Kicker Adam Saul buried both of his field goal attempts with room to spare.