Bartlett starts fast, tops Elgin

Updated 9/10/2021 11:01 PM

While Bartlett didn't need the 59 points it scored last week to beat Streamwood, the Hawks came through with a number of big plays again -- especially early -- in a 29-12 win Friday over visiting Elgin.

James Knight got Bartlett (2-1, 2-1 in the Upstate Eight Conference) going on both sides of the ball. He intercepted Elgin quarterback James Syrek to end the Maroons' first drive, then capped a 91-yard march with a 30-yard touchdown run around the left end with 5:31 left in the opening quarter.


Teammate Anthony Verges followed with an interception two plays later, setting up Bartlett with a short field. Quarterback Jacob Scearce lofted an 11-yard fade to the back left corner of the end zone that Gabriel Bemont hauled in. Joe Palermo caught a 2-point conversion pass from Koleman Salyers for a 15-0 lead midway through the first quarter.

Matthew Lawson got Elgin (0-3, 0-3) on the board with an 89-yard kick return on the ensuing kickoff. He also intercepted a pass in the second quarter.

Verges answered quickly with a 74-yard touchdown run, the third score in a 35-second stretch.

That gave Bartlett a 22-6 lead with 2:47 left in the first quarter, then both defenses found their rhythm, and neither team scored again in the first half.

Clem Mccullough II gave the Maroons a spark to start the second half, recovering an onside kick. While that drive ended with Verges recovering a fumble -- one of four Elgin turnovers -- the Maroons quickly got the ball back, and this time Mccullough carried three or four would-be tacklers into the end zone on a 6-yard run to pull within 22-12.

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That was as close as Elgin would get. Bemont's second touchdown catch, this one a 32-yarder, pushed the Hawks' lead to 29-12 late in the third quarter. Neither team scored in the fourth of a penalty-filled game; the teams combined for 26 flags and nearly 200 yards.

Verges led both teams with 166 yards rushing.

Bartlett returns to action next week at West Chicago; Elgin plays at Streamwood.

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