Team effort pushes 5-0 Elk Grove past Buffalo Grove
Elk Grove's football team came into Friday night's game with Buffalo Grove undefeated in four games for the first time since 2004.
The Grenadiers made sure they will still be unbeaten in Week 6 with a 28-14 Mid-Suburban East opening triumph over the Bison.
The victory had even more significance since Elk Grove had not defeated BG since 2015 and was coming off a 49-6 loss to the Bison last season.
"Our offensive line just came out and did its stuff," said EG senior QB Mitchell Janczak, who rushed for 187 yards and passed for another 55. "It's pretty easy to run through the gaps when they're as big as they were. This is a special start for us. We believe in what we believe and we're going to continue believing it. It's a great feeling, especially with all the guys contributing tonight. It's a great team win."
The Grenadiers (5-0, 1-0) got on the board first when Janczak found classmate Sebastian Halilovic in the middle of the end zone for a 7-0 lead with 11:12 left in the second quarter. The catch capped a 70-yard drive in which Halilovic also caught a 14-yard pass.
Buffalo Grove (2-3, 0-1) answered right back with its own 75-yard drive, capped by Payton Diaz' 18-yard TD toss to Samuel Cho. Jake Rubino's extra point tied the game with 8:03 to intermission.
The half ended on a dramatic 97-yard drive by the hosts after they were back up to their own 3-yard line following a punt by Janczak.
Janczak marched his offense the entire distance in the final 1:30.
Working behind linemen Mo Burt, Ramiro Valdivia, Toni Brautigam, Christina Tuiianna and Mikey Milovich, Janczak found a leaping Halilovic for a 30-yard TD strike with no time left on the clock. Garrett Ewen's extra point sent the hosts into the locker room leading 14-7.
Elk Grove extended the lead to 21-7 with 3:01 left in the third quarter.
Janczak flipped a 45-yard pass to sophomore Dylan Berkowitz, who caught the ball 20 yards from the line of scrimmage, then cut back to the middle of the field and headed into the end zone.
The Bison answered right back, covering 68 yard in six plays.
Diaz fired a 46-yard TD pass to Anthony Palano (5 catches, 73 yards), cutting the deficit to 21-14 with 1:32 left in the third quarter.
However, EG countered again. This time, the Grens went 78 yards in 7:20 when Janczak ran into the end zone from 2 yards out. Janczak had a big 17-yard carry on the drive that ended with 6:12 left in the game.
Jacob Elsner (13 carries, 62 yards) also had some big carries on the drive, including an 8-yard run that got the Grens to the 6-yard line.
Ewen's interception at the EG 11-yard line with 3:30 left helped seal the win for EG.
Two plays later, Janczak raced 66 yards to the BG 15 yards line and the Grens took two kneel downs in the final minute.
"The kids did a great job," said EG coach Miles Osei. "They've fought the off-season. Our coaching staff is just super proud of them, We've told them all along they are capable and they showed that tonight, They put Elk Grove back on the map and we are proud of these kids. They've been believing, Credit to them. They've worked their tails and have done a really good job."