Palano breaks Buffalo Grove's TD record in win over Vernon Hills
With Sam Cho sitting out due to an injury in practice, the Buffalo Grove football team needed someone to step up.
Anthony Palano did more than that, breaking a school record with six touchdowns in a 62-14 victory at Vernon Hills.
Palano's first touch of the game went for a loss. After that, almost every time he held the ball, he went for a big gain.
"I couldn't have done it without my teammates," said Palano, who had one touchdown on the season entering the game. "They opened up holes for me to score. It is just surreal."
Three of his first four carries went for touchdowns and he eclipsed the 100-yard rushing mark by the half. Palano finished with 124 yards rushing and 99 yards receiving.
The first time he touched the ball in the second half, Palano ran a punt back for a 70 yard touchdown.
"He is a special player, and we knew that the moment he came in as a freshman," Buffalo Grove head coach Jeffery VLK said. "That five-touchdown record, I never thought I would see it broken. It was really fun to watch."
But Palano wasn't the only Buffalo Grove player moving the ball as they had another back run for more than 100 yards prior to halftime.
Matthew Maradkel finished the game with 131 yards. He scored his only touchdown on a 38-yard run, where he took a sweep to the right, changed direction to the left and broke a couple tackles for the score.
"The hole closed up and I was like that is not good," Maradkel said. "I see the hole backside, so I cut it backside, turn on the jets, lowered my shoulder and got in."
Overall, the Bison ran for 368 yards. Jacob Hensley added 64 yards on the ground, and Shannon Hawthorne and Jason DeWald also scored.
Things didn't start out rosy for the Bison. Shep Ratnow intercepted a pass on the Bison's first drive and ran it back 22 yards for a touchdown. Ratnow would score again in the second quarter with a 42-yard reception from Holden Smith.
Buffalo Grove, however, was strong on defense as well, holding Vernon Hills to 65 yards rushing, 45 of which came on one run by Ratnow. Maradkel and Tyler Baker each had an interception.
Vernon Hills falls to 1-2 on the season, while Buffalo Grove is 2-1, bouncing back from a 42-17 loss to Palatine a weak ago.
"People think failure is the opposite of success," Maradkel said. "But I feel it is like part of success. I feel like (the loss) brought us up."