Palatine blanks Hoffman Estates in convincing fashion

By Lou Nunez Jr.
Daily Herald Correspondent
Updated 4/9/2021 11:19 PM

When Joe Ayala and his family moved within the boundaries of Township High School District 211 prior to his senior year, it brought him a change of high schools from Palatine to Hoffman Estates.

It also meant a change of programs for the quarterback that had an ironically familiar feeling for him -- both went 4-5 and just missed being a playoff team in 2019.


Regardless of circumstance, Ayala maintained a positive outlook for his former teammates after a win at Schaumburg last week.

"I love those guys, I want them to do good this season."

He did add a couple of caveats, however.

"I want my new team to do good this season," Ayala said. "It's (going to be) fun playing those guys. I just want it to be a good game. A respectable game that's hopefully hard fought."

Unfortunately, for Ayala and his new team it would be his old Palatine team that came into his new home turf and had all the fun, dominating from start on the way to a 41-0 win at Garber Stadium Friday.

By virtue of Barrington's come-from-behind 35-21 home win over Fremd, the Broncos (4-0) clinched the Mid-Suburban League West berth in the MSL's first football championship game since 1974, leaving Palatine (3-1 overall and MSL West) only in contention for a share of the division crown if it beats Schaumburg on its home field, and Hoffman wins at Barrington next Friday.

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"Our kids came out and played hard and we were ready to play football," Palatine coach Corey Olson said. "They know that this thing is going to come to an end, and do every opportunity we have is an opportunity to be together and do some great things."

From their opening possession, the Pirates came out firing on all cylinders as they took control of the game on the strength of their two-headed quarterback monster, senior Eric Pecson and sophomore Grant Dershna.

After freshman tailback Dominick Ball's 5-yard touchdown run got the scoring started, Pecson would expand the Palatine advantage to 14-0 on a 1-yard keeper with 5:19 left in the first quarter. He then found Jacob Bostick for the first of two touchdown connections (15 yards) that had t up 20-0 just 56 ticks into the second quarter. Dershna found Alex Clue on a 26-yard scoring pass that gave the visitors a 28-0 cushion at the break.

After the second Pecson-Bostck scoring toss (10 yards), which made it 34-0 with 9:35 left to plant, Ball completed the scoring with a touchdown from 4 yards out with 3:15 to play.

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