Palatine cruises past Minooka in 8A second round playoff game
Windy conditions at Minooka on Friday night could have easily altered the game plan of either of the two teams heading into a Class 8A second-round playoff matchup between Palatine and Minooka.
The Pirates seemed to say thanks for your concern, but we're going to go ahead and do what we planned in the first place.
Palatine stacked up nearly 500 yards of total offense and was particularly dominant in the first half in cruising to a 47-14 victory.
Palatine (10-1) will play either York (10-0) or Marist (7-3) in the quarterfinal round next weekend. Those two teams play Saturday afternoon. If York wins, Palatine will travel to York. If Marist wins, Palatine would host Marist.
"It was pretty much business as usual for us," Palatine coach Corey Olson said. "I thought the momentum of the game and us being so effective, we scored 28 points going into the wind, really set the tone for us."
Palatine wasted no time and demonstrated it wasn't going to let the howling wind alter its attack. A 33-yard pass from Tommy Elter to Dominick Ball set the stage for Palatine's first score, a 1-yard plunge from Elter.
Then, two plays into its first possession Minooka (7-4) fumbled the ball back to Palatine.
Then the Pirates went on the march again with Ball capping the drive with a 4-yard score. It was just the beginning of a huge night for the junior running back as it was the first of his 4 touchdowns in the game.
He'd finish with 172 yards rushing on 20 carries.
"I thought we were going to stick with our game plan, which we did," Ball said. "But we ran the ball a lot more than I thought we would."
Palatine would add a second rushing touchdown from Ball from 7 yards out on its next possession and would close the first quarter having outgained Minooka 165 to 4.
Palatine also capped the first quarter by getting in scoring position to punch in its fourth touchdown early in the second quarter when Connor May would haul in a 7-yard touchdown pass from Elter.
It was Elter's only touchdown pass of the game, but he was integral to the success of Palatine overall, completing 15 passes to six different receivers for 272 yards.
"We're clicking on all cylinders right now and it is fun to watch," Olson said. "They were giving us unfavorable boxes to run into, but we were still able to find some success doing it. I think throwing the ball with success early had a little bit to do with it too and Dom just breaks tackles."
Minooka broke up Palatine's shutout bid late in the third quarter on a Joey Partridge 2-yard touchdown run. Palatine countered that quickly getting a 62-yard touchdown scamper from Ball only two plays later.
The Pirates would put the running clock in motion after a 7-yard touchdown reverse run from Tyson Moorer.
Minooka's Partridge would finish the game with 90 yards rushing and a pair of touchdowns, but nearly all of the yardage and both of the scores came well after the outcome was decided.