Maine West falls to Deerfield
Despite losing 35-6 to host Deerfield, there is no place Maine West's Kamrin Hutt would have rather been on a frosty Friday night in March than on the football field.
"It was amazing," said Hutt, who is a senior and scored Maine West's lone touchdown.
"Just to finally be able to get back out here with my family. There is no better feeling. All that hard work for so long. It was good to be back out here with my boys."
It was not quite the opening game that new Maine West coach George Klupchak had in mind when he took over the program. His team was hard hit by graduation in 2020 and then COVID came. But he was able to keep his squad together.
"I am glad the kids got a chance to be out here," Klupchak said. "We didn't think we would be out here. We have an opportunity to play and we are going to make the most of it."
Klupchak said that he and his players were ready for the challenges of playing high school football in March.
"There are always going to be challenges," Klupchak said. "Athletics at the high school level are supposed to be educational. Challenges, that's educational. We have challenges in front of us. These guys aren't making excuses and I'm not making excuses and we are going to get better."
Maine West actually outgained Deerfield 236 yards to 175 yards. The Maine West defense, led by Jaidyn Diaz, Matthew Signorini, Hutt, Alexander Peguero, Szymon Grum and James Michalak stymied Deerfield for the most part.
But Deerfield came up with big plays when it needed them.
Deerfield scored its first touchdown after a 17-play, 71-yard drive that saw the Warriors convert a trio of fourth down plays. Deerfield followed that up with a 54-yard punt return by Luke Jones and a 21-yard touchdown run by Luke Woodson. Austin Layette later would connect with Woodson on a 57-yard touchdown and Deerfield led 28-0 in the third quarter. It would later add a 54-yard interception return.
Maine West had plenty of opportunities.
The visiting Warriors fumbled on their first series of the game after driving to the Deerfield 28. Just before the end of the half, Maine West had a pass broken up in the end zone. Later it would get inside the Deerfield 10, only to be turned away again.
Maine West finally got on the board early in the fourth quarter. Hutt caught a 21-yard touchdown pass from Conor McAndrews (11-of-27, 167 yards).
"Our trainer was talking to us before the game," explained Maine West senior Louis Corey. "If you told us three months ago we would have a season, how happy everyone would be. Starting off with the loss isn't the best thing. But we saw some things we can build off of."