Barrington rights the ship, shuts out Wheeling

By Bill Esbrook
Daily Herald Correspondent
Updated 9/3/2021 10:16 PM

Barrington played like a team that did not want to lose two games in a row.

Friday night against visiting Wheeling the Broncos, who had dropped their opener 19-0 to Warren, came out with a solid effort all-around in a 42-0 win over the Wildcats.


Senior running back Evan Penesis scored 3 first-half touchdowns for Barrington and finished with a total of 128 yards rushing on only 9 carries.

"I'm really proud of the kids and their effort tonight," said Broncos coach Joe Sanchez. "The coaching staff did a great job all week, the kids prepared, they came out and played well."

Wheeling trailed 35-0 at halftime but played even the rest of the way except for a late fourth-quarter rushing TD from Broncos junior Michael Pashkow.

Much of the Wildcats' strong effort in the final two quarters came via a stellar effort from junior Diego Giles, especially on the defensive end.

"He didn't play last week," said Wheeling coach Peter Panagakis, "so this was his first game. I wish we had eleven Diegos out there on defense -- he played great, and he's one of our toughest, hardest hitters. What we want to do is put our eleven best players out there on defense and build around them, and we're building around Diego.

"Like someone said, we're the smallest school in the Mid-Suburban League, and they (Barrington) are the biggest -- but we don't hide from anybody. What we saw tonight was a great Barrington team, it was a tough game from beginning to end, but I saw a lot of heart in our team. There could have been a time when they gave up but instead the kids continued to step up and make plays."

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Barrington scored 3 times in the first quarter.

First Penesis ran in from 3 yards out on the opening drive of the contest, then quarterback Harley Thompson threw a 43-yard scoring pass to Ben Cocoma.

Penesis finished the first quarter barrage with a 9-yard touchdown run.

It was more of the same in quarter number two for the Broncos. Early on, safety Danny Sheedy intercepted a Wheeling pass and ran it back to the Wildcats' 2-yard line.

Thompson scored on a 2-yard plunge on the very next play, then Penesis finished Barrington's 5 TD first half with a 35 yard run.

Thompson had 99 yards though the air on 6 completions, while Cocoma caught 4 passes for 71 yards and a score.

"We came in with a ton of respect for Wheeling," added Sanchez. "They had a great win last week, and we knew they were going to come in and fight. Our boys responded exactly as we hoped they would, and now hopefully we can take this win and use it as a launchpad to keep getting better.

"There's no doubt our O-line did a great job tonight, but just all the way around, in all three phases, I was really proud of the boys."

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