Maine South uses late rally to upend Palatine 28-21
Maine South found its rhythm just when it needed it most.
The Hawks, who surrendered a pair of time consuming-second half scoring drives to Palatine, rallied late in the fourth quarter to upend the Pirates 28-21 before an overflow crowd in Park Ridge Friday.
"Tonight, they were grinding it against us," Maine South coach Dave Inserra said. "We weren't giving up big plays. But we found a way to get a touchdown when we needed it and a big defensive play after that."
Palatine (1-2) put together a pair of impressive second half touchdown drives to claim a 21-20 lead with 7:29 to play.
Maine South, which had run just 6 plays, to Palatine's 27 in the second half, then finally found its stride.
On just their third play after the kickoff, quarterback Constantine Coines busted a 58-yard touchdown run off a read-option to make its 26-21. Coines then threw to Julian Turner and Maine South led 28-21.
"It was supposed to be a read for me," said Coines, who rushed for 85 yards and threw for 163 yards.
"I kept it and there was no hole in the middle. So I followed Eddy Dase. He sealed a block and Evan Agosto got a block downfield and I was gone."
The Maine South defense, which up to that point have been run over by Palatine's Dominick Ball (25 carries, 135 yards) and allowed a pair of short touchdown runs by Trey Widlowski, stiffened.
Samuel Cooper came up with a key interception at midfield to give the Hawks the ball back with just over 4 minutes to play.
Taking a cue from Palatine, Maine South used the running of Michael Dullumo and Coines to run the clock out.
"My coaches had told me that I had to step up and get the first downs," said Dellumo, who was playing with a heavy heart after both of his grandparents passed away this past week.
"I just put my head down and ran as hard as I can. I wanted to make my grandparents proud. "
Maine South (2-1) had 3 long scoring drives in the first half to take a 20-7 lead at the break.
The Hawks went 58 yards on their first possession to take a 7-0 lead on a 17-yard touchdown run by Dellumo (17 carries, 78 yards)
After blocking a Palatine field goal, the Hawks flew 80 yards in just six plays. Coines had a pair of key passes, the first to Evan Agosto for 45 yards down the sideline. Coines then would later follow with a perfect strike over the middle to Nick Wong to make it 14-0 early in the second quarter.
Palatine, which had trouble sustaining drives in the first half, then put together a 16-play, 80-yard scoring march. Trey Widlowski crashed over from the one to cut the lead to 14-7 with 2:02 left in the half.
Maine South just needed 90 seconds of that to grab a 20-7 lead. Dellumo smashed over from the one to cap an 8-play, 70-yard drive.
"You see this crowd," Inserra said. "You see all the little kids out here? We talked about this being a flagship program. We had to show that and prove it and we did."
Palatine coach Corey Olson, whose Pirates have lost a pair of games this season in the final minutes, still has confidence in his team.
"All of our goals are still ahead of us," Olson said. "We have a real good football team. I believe in these kids and I know my seniors our going to fight."