South Elgin stops Larkin to stay undefeated
Regardless of sport, a head coach can serve as an athlete's biggest advocate.
Take this positive review of South Elgin junior quarterback Ben Karpowicz by his mentor Dragan Teonic from earlier this season.
"He's playing at a very comfortable level," Teonic said. "He seems so much more in control. Obviously as a junior compared to his sophomore year. He's had a great off-season. He's been lifting weights. He's been working his tail off and he's still out here fighting with his teammates."
All of those attributes that Teonic listed were in full display Saturday evening as Karpowicz and South Elgin (4-0) carved up Larkin (0-4) 56-13 at Elgin Memorial Field to keep itself atop the Upstate Eight with Bartlett.
"The goal was to come in and try to be businesslike, respect your opponent, play well," Teonic said afterward as a torrential downpour came over the field. "I thought we did that. I thought Larkin had moments where they played well, so it was good."
South Elgin found the end zone on seven of its eight first-half possessions as it accumulated 279 yards of total offense during the first 24 minutes of play.
Karpowicz (8 of 13, 109 yards) fired three of his four TD tosses during the Storm's first three offensive series. He hit Spencer Menchaca on a 20-yard score followed by consecutive scoring strikes to Alex Noworol of 5 and 49 yards that had South Elgin ahead 21-0 at the end of one.
Noworol added a 43-yard run, followed by an 8-yard scoring jaunt by Menchaca on the Storm's first two touches of the second quarter that made it 35-0. Karpowicz threw his fourth and final TD toss to Dylan Marquis with just 13 ticks remaining until half to set up a running clock for the second half.
The Royals remained in the fight thanks to the efforts of 6-2 junior signalcaller Dontrell Maxie (7-21-128 yards) as he connected on a pair of scoring passes to Treyvon Smith (9 yards) on their opening possession of the third and a 46-yarder to Jamarion Stubb's on the first snap of the final frame.
"We're trying to develop all of our kids to be completely prepared for competition," Larkin coach Matt Gehrig said. "It's a process that's ongoing and improving. We're just going to keep our chins up and go back to work."