Dellaquila's big night lifts Buffalo Grove over Palatine
Buffalo Grove's Pasquale Dellaquila came up, "With the game of my life," Friday night at Palatine.
Dellaquila did a lot of damage in Buffalo Grove's 39-29 in the Mid-Suburban crossover between the league's second-place divisional finishers.
Dellaquila caught touchdown passes of 70, 14, and 20 yards. He kicked 4 extra points and a game-clinching 20 yard field goal with 18 seconds left to play. A bounce-back kickoff by Dellaquila after he had just scored the go-ahead touchdown on a 20-yard reception from quarterback Ian Luyando for a 28-22 lead, was recovered by Blake Juckett.
Luyando (17-for-27, 2 INTS, 246 yard) would then connect with Ayden Anderson on a 28-yard touchdown pass for a 36-22 lead.
Dellaquila would close out the game with an interception and fell just short of returning the pick for another score as the game ended.
"This was a big game for us," said Dellaquila. "When we fell behind, I just said we have to keep going. Our offensive line just did a great job for us. To have a game like this is something that I will always remember."
"Pasquale was a standout player tonight. He's an all-conference player and should be an all-area player," said Bison coach Jeff Vlk. "He did so many things other than the touchdowns that helped us win. He's a selfless player. He wants the team to win first."
Another key factor was Bison senior guard Victor Allen. Allen made the key block to spring Luyando on a 61-yard run to the Palatine 20-yard line.
Dellaquila would catch a 20-yard touchdown pass on fourth down.
"Victor is not a big player and he made such a big play on that," said Vlk.
"My teammates always play hard," said Allen. "This season meant a lot. I just wanted to play my hardest and give my all. I saw the defender come at Ian and I just took him out of the play."
The Bison, who would rack up 402 yards of offense, scored on their first possession on a 10-yard pass to Anderson on their first possession.
An interception by Michael Cervantes set up the 70-yard Luyando-to-Dellaquila touchdown.
Dellaquila's 14-yard reception with 5:08 left in the first half gave the 5-1 Bison a 21-0 lead.
Palatine (4-2) righted the ship by scoring twice within 54 seconds.
Eric Pecson would score on a 2-yard run. Following a fumble recovery by Kellon King, Dominik Ball scored on a 9-yard run to cut the lead to 21-15 just before halftime.
The Pirates would score on their first possession of the second half on a 3-yard run by Charles Harris to lead 22-21.
Palatine's final score would come on a 13-yard run by Pecson to make the score 36-29 with 7:17 left in the game.
The Bison ate up 7 minutes of the clock before Dellaquila kicked his field goal.
Palatine would finish with 346 yards.
"My seniors played their butts off," said Palatine coach Corey Olson. "The kids never quit. It was a hard-fought football game. We had a lot of really good things happen this year to build on."