Mabry sparks Palatine past Barrington
Jhermari Mabry had enough.
Mabry and Palatine were getting pushed around by Barrington in the first half Friday. Mabry, who is one of the top defenders on Palatine's defense, then changed all that.
Mabry executed a stunt by the Barrington goal line and stripped the ball away from the Barrington running back. An opportunistic Joe Wagner quickly jumped on the ball on the end zone for a touchdown.
That play sparked a resurgence in the Pirates as they were able to then pull away from Barrington for a huge 27-10 win in Palatine.
Palatine (4-3, 2-1), which is now back in the hunt for the Mid-Suburban West title, had trailed 10-3 when Mabry's strip and Wagner's touchdown changed its fortune.
"We were getting beat on the ground and I knew I had to come up with a play," Mabry said. "I ran a stunt to the 'C' gap and beat my guy. I hit the runner and looked him right in the eyes and knocked the ball loose."
Wagner then saw the ball squirting around on the goal line and leapt into action to tie the game at 10-10 just before the end of the first half.
"I saw Jhemari strip it and it was wide open," Wagner said. "So I jumped on it. It gave us a big momentum change."
Palatine took advantage of that momentum shift in the second half.
With Dominick Ball back in the lineup and running strong and Grant Dersnah finding open receivers, the Pirates struck for 17 second half points.
"Our kids never quit," Palatine coach Corey Olson said. "Barrington was shoving us around in the first half, no question about it. Mabry then makes a play. That's what you expect in big games from your big time players."
After a defensive stop by the Pirates to begin the second half, Ball (10 carries, 92 yards) had a 2-yard touchdown run.
The first of 2 interceptions by Kam Lewis set up the Pirates for another score. They got it when Dersnah (12-of-17, 175 yards) threw a 7-yard touchdown pass to Thomas Coroneos (7 receptions, 111 yards) to make it 24-10. Bobby Widlowski would add a 23-yard field goal to close out the scoring for the Pirates.
After surrendering 209 rushing yards in the first half, Palatine shut the door on Barrington in the second half. The defense, led by Mabry, Wagner, Lewis, Anthony Westfall, Mitch Larkin, Widlowski and Tommy Houser forced 3 turnovers and limited Barrington to 18 yards rushing in the second half.
"We knew they were going to be physical, so we had to be physical back," Lewis said. "The plan was to come out and stop them every time they had the ball in the second half."
The teams traded field goals in the first quarter.
Widlowski booted a 46-yard field goal on the Pirates' first series. Barrington's Nick Bordenet answered with a 28-yard field goal to tie the game at 3-3.
Barrington (3-4, 1-2) began to dominate up front. The Broncos cashed in when Evan Panesis (22 carries, 127 yards) scored on a 1-yard rune to cap a 10-play drive to make it 10-3.
Barrington had am opportunity to take command. But the Broncos missed a field goal with just over two minutes left in the half. Then after Barrington stopped a Palatine drive with an interception by Danny Sheedy at their own 2, the Broncos fumbled in their own end zone.
"It was a tale of two halves," Barrington coach Joe Sanchez said. "We had a chance at the end of the first half. But credit them. They were resilient and took advantage of the opportunities that were there."