Maine South blanks Bolingbrook in opening round of Class 8A playoffs
That's what Maine South showed Friday night in Park Ridge.
Senior quarterback Ryan Leyden was making just his second start after separating his throwing shoulder in Week 1.
He showed some rust, but still threw for 221 yards and a touchdown as the Hawks flew past Bolingbrook 24-0 in the opening round of the class 8A playoffs.
Maine South (8-2), which is seeded 13th, will travel to South Elgin to face the unbeaten and fourth-seeded Storm. South Elgin beat Belleville East 28-20.
"Great team win," Maine South coach Dave Inserra said. "Our special teams were big, we limited them and took advantage of some field position."
Inserra said that Leyden played sparingly last week after being cleared to play. Leyden re-entered the game in the fourth quarter against New Trier and led the Hawks to a comeback overtime win.
"I have been working several weeks to get back to where I was," Leyden said. "I am moving forward and getting better each week. Still trying to scrape off some every rust. Every play, every throw, just scrape it off."
The plan, avoiding to Inserra, was always to start Leyden and the senior didn't disappoint. Despite the rust, he was able to orchestrate three scoring drives in the first half as Maine South took a 17-0 lead at the break.
"I was getting more and more comfortable," said Leyden, who threw to eight different receivers. "I began to read the blitzes more often. I was more comfortable with the line calls and the play calls."
Maine South took a 3-0 as Ethan Stump kicked a 30-yard field goal midway through the first quarter.
After an interception by Brady Marques at the Hawks 41. Micheal Dullomo then rattled off four solid runs, including a 3-yard burst that was aided by some extra push by the Hawks offensive line as Maine South grabbed a 10-0 lead.
The Hawks scored on their next possession with Leyden using his arm and legs on a 12-play, 70-yard drive. Leyden rushed twice for 28 yards and threw a pair of passes for another 30 yards, the final 18 to Maurice Densmore for a touchdown and 17-0 lead.
Maine South then put the game away early in the thrift quarter. Leyden capped a 9-play, 55-yard drive with a 1-yard run to make it 24-0.
The Hawk defense, which picked off Bolingbrook freshman quarterback Jonas Williams 4 times, was active all night. They limited Williams to 14-of-27 for 100 yards and blanketed Bolingbrook's speedy wide receivers I'Marion Stewart and Kyan Berry-Johnson.
"The plan was to stop them early," said Marques, a senior linebacker, who had an interception and 2 sacks.
"I don't think they had one successful deep ball on us the whole game."
The double-threat duo of Stewart and Berry-Johnson combined for 12 catches, but only for 88 total yards. Maine South did not allow either receiver, who both have garnered D-1 interest, an opportunity at a deep play.
Maine South also got interceptions from Sam Cooper, Mike Migon and Danny Spandiarry.
"The secondary did a great job against two outstanding receivers and their quarterback," Inserra said. "We added one more pass package deep. They throw it 80 percent of the time and that is more than most high schools. So we had to take that away. And we got some turnovers."
Bolingbrook, (6-4) which had not scored less than 31 points in a game this season, was held to 154 yards of total offense.
"It was a rough night," Bolingbrook coach John Ivlow said. "I didn't see that coming. A shutout. I didn't see that coming at all. When you play a good team like this, you know they are going to come up with something. And they did."