Maine South blows out South Elgin to reach quarterfinals
South Elgin's perfect season came to a close Friday night against a Maine South squad that's used to breaking teams' hearts in the postseason.
The Hawks visited 10-0 South Elgin with a deceiving 8-2 record and left with a 42-0 win and a berth in the quarterfinals of the 8A state playoffs.
Quarterback Ryan Leyden, who missed most of the regular season with an injury, was unstoppable in the first half, throwing touchdown passes on the Hawks' first two possessions and tossing four all told in the first half for a 28-0 lead.
"They were unbelievable. They played incredible on both sides of the ball," Storm coach Dragon Teonic said after his team failed again to advance past the second round of the playoffs. "There were a lot of things we could have done better but I don't want to take away from the way that team played tonight."
After the Storm's first possession ended in a punt, Maine South, with a strong wind at its back, marched 60 yards on a drive that was capped by Leyden's 9-yard scoring pass to Evan Agosto, who later added a 27-yard score.
The second Hawks' possession ended with a 38-yard screen pass that Michael Dellumo took to the end zone and the rout was on.
"Coach tells us to come out on fire and to put pressure on the other team," said Leyden, who finished with 228 yards and four scores before giving way to a pair of reserve quarterbacks on Friday. "We had the wind at our backs in the first quarter which helped us throw some deeper balls, plus our receiving corps is unbelievable. They have speed, talent and they're smart and they all play with confidence."
Despite the wind and at times rain, the Hawks' receivers made great catch after great catch on the night. Agosto had two TD catches, Maurice Densmore caught an 18-yarder from Leyden for a score, and Dellumo had five grabs for 74 yards and a score out of the backfield.
Maine South has a storied history of success in the postseason and its tough schedule seems to prepare the Hawks for long runs almost every season.
"Our first four games were all playoff teams and we went 2-2," Hawks coach David Inserra said. "It prepares us for the postseason and it paid off tonight."
The Storm had a difficult time against a Maine South team that has pitched back-to-back shutouts so far in the playoffs. Receiver Kyle Steinhofer had a touchdown called back on a holding penalty but did finish the game with six catches for 64 yards. Jordan Green led the team's ground attack with 34 yards on 7 carries.
Maine South (9-2) will play the winner of Saturday's game between Glenbrook South (9-1) and Glenbard West (9-1) next week.