Palatine pulls away from Conant
The learning curve is over for Palatine's Dominick Ball and Tommy Elter.
The duo passed with flying colors as they helped power Palatine past Conant 42-10 Friday in Hoffman Estates.
Ball, who is a junior running back, came into this season attempting to bounce back from leg and shoulder injuries last year. He began the 2022 campaign slowly, but was at full throttle Friday.
Ball rushed for 169 yards on 17 carries, including a 33-yard touchdown run. He also had four receptions for 106 yards and took a 72-yard shovel pass to the house early in the second quarter which allowed the Pirates (5-1. 2-0) to pull away.
"I had a little bit of the jitters when I was coming back off my ankle and my shoulder," Ball said. "But now it is completely gone and I feel great. Coach (Tyler) Donnelly said I needed to start sticking my foot in the ground and hitting the hole. I started doing that since and it has obviously helped."
Peter, who is a sophomore, took over the quarterback reins two weeks ago when he stepped in after an injury to starter Grant Dersnah ended Dersnah's season.
In Elter's first start last week, he threw a pair of interceptions, but the Pirates were still able to beat Fremd.
This week, Elter focused on not turning the ball over. His focus was so sound that he didn't throw an incompletion either, going 9-for-9 for 164 yards and two touchdowns on the pass to Ball and a 12-yard pass to Nate Branch.
He also had 39 yards rushing on eight carries. Two of those carries went for touchdowns on runs of four and three yards as Palatine built a 14-3 lead at the half.
"This week was the week that I finally felt more comfortable," said Elter, who led an offense that scored on all six of its possessions except for the kneel downs at the end of each half.
"It is an easy offense to come into. It is a fun offense to be a part of."
The Pirates also got superb play from their defense.
Conant (4-2, 0-2) came into the game averaging 40.4 points per game. The Palatine defense, led by Jaylen Williams, Thomas Houser, Daevion Farrow, Ryan Wagner and Michael Tokar, plugged up the Cougars, stopping nearly every drive.
"We played well on both sides of the ball," Palatine coach Corey Olsen said. "We flipped the script. We ran the ball well and stayed in the field for long drives."
Conant got a 29-yard field goal on its opening possession from Caden Ryan and a 13-yard touchdown run from Connor Minogue in the third quarter which then cut the deficit to 21-10.
"That's a good football team and we made a lot of mistakes," Conant coach Bryan Stortz said. "We moved the ball, but we couldn't finish. We didn't get the ball in the end zone enough and allowed too many explosive plays by them."
Palatine close out the scoring with a 9-yard touchdown run by TJ Luckett.