Hersey cooks up its sixth win in a row
John Novak was a staple at Hersey football games during his long career as the school's assistant director of student activities.
He may have retired following the last school year but he has hardly been removed from football games at Roland Goins Stadium in Arlington Heights.
He now heads up the concession stand and his featured item on Friday night was maple orange chipotle pork chops.
While Novak's staff was busy on the grill, the Hersey football team was once again cooking on the gridiron.
Coach Joe Pardun's Huskies remained undefeated (6-0, 2-0) with their sixth straight win, defeating Rolling Meadows 50-14 in the Mid-Suburban East contest before an overflow crowd, with the help of Youth Football Night and reunion night for the classes of 1970 and 71.
The menu remained the same for the Huskies on the field: solid offense and strong defense.
Hersey scored on seven of its eight possessions.
Josh Bontje raced 55 yards for a touchdown on the second play from scrimmage and Brett Kersemeier took off for a 71-yard TD run with 3:52 left in the first quarter.
"We said there was the potential if we could make big plays, and to see us do it, having Bontje (98 yards, 8 carries) and Kersemeier (85 yards, 4 carries) break big ones, gave us momentum for sure," said Pardun.
Evan Grace's 6- yard TD pass to Ethan Groark got Meadows (3-3, 1-1) to within 14-7 with 8:42 left in the first half but Hersey QB Jimmy Makuh fired a 17-yard pass to Dylan Carlquist with 23.5 seconds left in the half to make it 21-7.
The Huskies scored twice in the third quarter on Bonjte's 5-yard run and Makuh's 1-yard QB sneak from a yard out to make it 35-7.
They added two more TDs in the final quarter on Bonjte's third TD run (5 yards) and a 41-yard pass from Makuh to Carlquist (155 yards, 9 catches).
Long snapper Andrew Pignataro, holder Bonjte and kicker Carson Koclanis accounted for 6 extra points and Bonjte ran for one 2-point conversion.
"Our offense is explosive," Pardun said. " Credit to the offensive line (Alex Jelaca, Ryan Dempsey, Miki Jovanovic, Zach Ott and Tyler Pflomm) tonight. They did a great job."
Meadows coach Sam Baker also credited his offensive line (PJ Ford, Dominic Fallico, Frank Elefttheriou, George Barnett, Nick Galvin and Joey Maloney).
"I thought it stepped up after we did not run the ball well last week," he said. "I thought we ran fairly well and Groak and (Michael) Brigham (caught a 10-yard TD pass from Grace) continued to show that they're really good players. Groak (85 yards, 9 receptions) made some catches with people draped all over him.
"We made a couple of mistakes here and there against a good football team. Hersey can make you pay when you do that, so hats off to them. They're a good football team."
"They were fast," Pardun said of the Mustangs. "They probably had some of the best speed we've seen this season. We had a hard time coming off blocks in the first half but I thought we made good adjustments in the second half."