Wild MSL title game goes to Barrington over Prospect

  • The referee signals the Barrington touchdown by Joey Gurskis, who celebrates with teammate Tom Sweeney (33) during Friday's football game against Prospect in Barrington.

      The referee signals the Barrington touchdown by Joey Gurskis, who celebrates with teammate Tom Sweeney (33) during Friday's football game against Prospect in Barrington. Paul Valade | Staff Photographer

  • Barrington's Jackson Gehrisch (23) slows Prospect's Luke Zardzin during Friday's football game in Barrington. Gehrisch intercepted a Prospect pass with less than 30 seconds to play to preserve the win for the Broncos.

      Barrington's Jackson Gehrisch (23) slows Prospect's Luke Zardzin during Friday's football game in Barrington. Gehrisch intercepted a Prospect pass with less than 30 seconds to play to preserve the win for the Broncos. Paul Valade | Staff Photographer

  • Prospect quarterback Gary Moeller, center, runs the ball under defensive pressure during Friday's game in Barrington.

      Prospect quarterback Gary Moeller, center, runs the ball under defensive pressure during Friday's game in Barrington. Paul Valade | Staff Photographer

  • Prospect's Owen Walter (1) scores a touchdown and is lifted in celebration by teammate Matt Pankauskas during Friday's football game in Barrington.

      Prospect's Owen Walter (1) scores a touchdown and is lifted in celebration by teammate Matt Pankauskas during Friday's football game in Barrington. Paul Valade | Staff Photographer

  • Prospect's Luke Zardzin (24) prepares the stiff arm for Barrington's Connor Lee as he runs the ball during Friday's football game in Barrington.

      Prospect's Luke Zardzin (24) prepares the stiff arm for Barrington's Connor Lee as he runs the ball during Friday's football game in Barrington. Paul Valade | Staff Photographer

  • STORY ON PAGE 4: Barrington's Bryan Smith runs for a first-half touchdown against Prospect during Friday's game.

      STORY ON PAGE 4: Barrington's Bryan Smith runs for a first-half touchdown against Prospect during Friday's game. Paul Valade | Staff Photographer

  • Barrington's Ryan Smith (3) runs in for a touchdown as teammate Dres Schorsch (16) provides a block on Prospect's Gino Paredes during Friday's football game in Barrington.

      Barrington's Ryan Smith (3) runs in for a touchdown as teammate Dres Schorsch (16) provides a block on Prospect's Gino Paredes during Friday's football game in Barrington. Paul Valade | Staff Photographer

  • Barrington's Justice Cromwell (31) pressures Prospect quarterback Gary Moeller (2) during Friday's football game in Barrington.

      Barrington's Justice Cromwell (31) pressures Prospect quarterback Gary Moeller (2) during Friday's football game in Barrington. Paul Valade | Staff Photographer

  • Prospect's Tyson Splinter runs for extra yards after making a reception during Friday's football game in Barrington.

      Prospect's Tyson Splinter runs for extra yards after making a reception during Friday's football game in Barrington. Paul Valade | Staff Photographer

  • Barrington's Bryan Smith, right, celebrates one of his touchdown runs with teammates during Friday's football game against Prospect in Barrington.

      Barrington's Bryan Smith, right, celebrates one of his touchdown runs with teammates during Friday's football game against Prospect in Barrington. Paul Valade | Staff Photographer

  • Prospect's Frank Covery (6) celebrates his touchdown with teammate Wes Neumann (9) during Friday's football game in Barrington.

      Prospect's Frank Covery (6) celebrates his touchdown with teammate Wes Neumann (9) during Friday's football game in Barrington. Paul Valade | Staff Photographer

  • Barrington quarterback Peter Anderson, right, looks for a receiver during Friday's football game against Prospect in Barrington.

      Barrington quarterback Peter Anderson, right, looks for a receiver during Friday's football game against Prospect in Barrington. Paul Valade | Staff Photographer

 
By Dick Quagliano
Daily Herald Correspondent
Updated 4/24/2021 1:03 PM

It was 47 years in the making and this one was truly super.

Barrington outlasted Prospect 52-45 Friday in Barrington in the first Mid-Suburban League football championship game since 1974. And in a game that had 1,089 yards of offense, it was a defensive play that was the biggest.

 

Jackson Gehrisch came over from near the middle of the field to intercept a pass at the Barrington 1-yard line with less than 30 seconds to play to preserve the win for the Broncos.

"As a defensive player, we don't love all those points, " Gehrisch said. "I figured that they would try to pick on a play in the corner. I saw it and just came over and picked it off."

It was a sweet win for Barrington (6-0), which was not even a member of the MSL when the last championship game was played.

"It was unbelievable," Barrington coach Joe Sanchez said. "For this group to come out like this in a shootout with an absolutely fantastic team over there, I am elated and humbled."

Barrington had taken a 52-45 lead on Bryan Smith's third touchdown of the night. Smith, who finished with 263 yards on 14 carries, scored on a 6-yard run to put Barrington back on top 52-45 with 1:49 to play.

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"This is my toughest game," Smith said. "I cramped up at the end, but I was able to fight it out."

Prospect (5-1), which was behind all evening, moved the ball from its 20 to the Barrington 32. But Gary Moeller, who was 31-of-48 for 300 yards, was picked off on a great play by Gehrisch.

"Our kids continued to fight to the end," Prospect coach Dan DeBoeuf said. "We came up a little short at the end. This is a super special group and I am very proud of them."

The first half was like a Tilt-a-Whirl as Barrington used big plays to combat Prospect's methodical offense to take a 35-21 lead at the break. There were touchdowns on 8 consecutive possessions as the teams combined for 610 yards of offense.

Peter Anderson (7-of-9, 237 yards) threw touchdown passes of 58 yards to Ryan Smith and 87 yards to Joey Gerskis. Bryan Smith had a75 -yard touchdown run for the Broncos.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

All those scoring plays were one-play drives. They came after Prospect touchdowns on a 1-yard run by Moeller and Moeller touchdown passes of 26 yards to Frank Covey and 19 yards to Owen Walter.

The big play for Barrington came when lineman Owen Powell picked off a pass and went 26 yards for a touchdown that gave Barrington a two-touchdown lead.

Prospect's Luke Zardzin, who would finish with 246 yards on 36 carries, scored to close it 35-28 early in the third quarter. For the fourth time, Barrington followed on the first play with a touchdown, a 68-yard play from Anderson to Gerskis.

Zardzin cut the deficit to 7 on a 43-yard touchdown run and Prospect added a safety to make it 42-37 late in the third quarter.

Barrington's Ramiro Vences kicked a 31-yard field goal early in the fourth quarter to make it 45-37. With 4:37 to play, Moeller threw a 9-yard touchdown pass to Tyson Splinter and then the duo connected on the conversion to tie the game at 45-45.

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