Warren's defense stands tall again in win over Stevenson
It wasn't your typical Warren football game, as the Blue Devils committed 4 turnovers, two of them off muffed punts and two more on interceptions.
Still, Warren showed what it does best defensively with 6 sacks and applied pressure on Stevenson quarterback Liam Crowley all game long as the Patriots managed just 68 total yards of offense.
Warren ended up on the winning side, 21-7, over visiting Stevenson in a North Suburban Conference matchup in Gurnee on Friday night.
"I thought Stevenson played really hard and those kids came out to compete," Warren coach Bryan McNulty said. "Our kids, we just had a lot of self-inflicted wounds. We played good football and have a couple of weeks to get better. The defense was great, but we had a lot of self-inflicted wounds with penalties. We weren't stellar on either side of the ball, we were good when we had to be."
Warren (2-0, 2-0) found itself trailing in the second quarter 7-0 after one of the muffed punts gave Stevenson (1-1, 1-1) the ball at its own 40-yard line with a fumble recovery by Jacob Whiting.
Crowley (8 for 20 for 114 yards) hooked up with Matthew Fisher a few plays later on a 26-yard touchdown pass with 9:03 remaining.
"I was really happy with the way the kids played," Stevenson coach Brent Becker said. "We knew that we were going to need a couple of bounces to go our way. We got a couple of take-aways and they gave us the ball back on a couple of punts.
"We capitalized once and in the second half, but we didn't make as many plays as we needed to. You have to give (Warren's) defense a lot of credit, they do a great job and they have some great players up front. They're disruptive and it kind of makes a lot things difficult. We have to be better and meet that challenge."
The Blue Devils got a spark with their second of three quarterbacks, sophomore Adam Behrens, who threw a 56-yard touchdown pass to Luther Thompson with 8:07 left in the second quarter. Phillip Hird started the game and Aidan Lucero also saw some time under center.
"I'm the youngest and it's something I have to do," Behrens said. "We love each other and it's all good. The long pass was definitely a game-changer and switched the momentum. It was one-read, (Thompson) beats his man, and I threw it over the top."
The Blue Devils made a stop on the Patriots' next possession. Marc Davila broke free for a 52-yard punt return and Warren took over the lead for good 14-7 with 6:07 left until half.
"I have to thank my teammates, they gave me the opportunity and got a couple of good blocks," Davila said. "It's finding the blocks and finding the holes. It's mainly finding the blocks, so I can finish it. it was a big turn of events, we were able to get the momentum after that."
Maurice Edwards (19 carries, 123 yards) added an 8-yard rushing touchdown with 4:09 left in the fourth quarter for the clinching score for the Blue Devils.