Deerfield steps on the gas, eases past Glenbrook North
It's highly unlikely Deerfield's offense will ever be penalized for delay of game.
Nearly as fast as officials can spot the football, the Warriors are sprinting to the line to run another play.
It's been an effective strategy this season for Deerfield, which ruined Glenbrook North's Sept. 22 homecoming game with a 28-14 Central Suburban League South victory in Northbrook.
"We know going into the CSL South we had to do something different to be able to attack schools like Glenbrook North and the rest of the schools in the CSL South," said Deerfield coach Steve Winiecki.
"We can't line up and go toe-to-toe with them. What we can do is we're fast and we're athletic so we're going to go up-tempo, and you saw how fast we go, and how much that really debilitates other teams," he said.
In their first conference game since 2018 in the CSL North, Deerfield (4-1, 1-0) led the Spartans 14-0 at halftime and 21-0 late in the third quarter before Glenbrook North (1-4, 0-1) scored twice in a 2-minute span to make it a game.
That was no solace to players like Spartans quarterback-receiver-safety Jack Philbin.
"It seems that's what's been going on this year -- it's been a slow start and then we pick it up in the second half," said Philbin, who passed for 93 yards, ran for 48 and caught 3 passes for 94 yards.
"But it's never enough and it's too little, too late. It seemed like that was the thing today, and it has been the last couple weeks and there's really not much else to say. We haven't come out of the gate strong yet and that really disappoints us all," he said.
Glenbrook North forced a punt on Deerfield's first offensive possession. In the first of several tough breaks for Glenbrook North, a drop of the punt gave Deerfield the ball right back at the Spartan 33-yard line.
Quinn Schimanski slashed 25 yards to the 6-yard line. Despite nice defensive plays by Raj Selvarag and Landon Lauter, Deerfield took a 7-0 lead on Mac Jones' 4-yard pass to Zach Friedman and Tommy Guczal's extra-point kick.
In the second quarter Glenbrook North's Patrick Schaller returned an interception 31 yards to the Warriors' 25-yard line. On the next play Deerfield's Nathan Marguilis picked off a screen pass and returned it 64 yards to Glenbrook North's 10-yard line.
Warriors linemen Aral Sezgun, Cole Lazarus, Jaden Rose, Alex Wiley and Sam Alex hustled to the line. Schimanski's 2-yard touchdown run and Guczal's kick gave Deerfield a 14-0 halftime lead.
"This whole year we've been saying, speed," said Schimanski, who ran for 112 yards and caught 6 passes for 85 yards.
"We know we're not the biggest team, we're not the strongest team, but that's what we do. We wear teams down with our speed and our intensity," he said.
Starting the third quarter Sam Gaffney came in for Philbin at quarterback, "a little changeup," Glenbrook North coach Matt Purdy said. Gaffney completed 7 of 13 passes for 133 yards.
"You watch Jack, he's a special athlete, he does special things, and putting Sam back there allows us to do some different stuff with Jack," Purdy said.
Deerfield converted on second-and-20 and fourth-and-3 before Jones found Jack Moros on a 21-yard flare for a 21-0 Warriors lead with 1:36 left in the third quarter.
Exploiting the center of the field, Gaffney found Philbin behind the defense on a 62-yard pass play to set up Philbin's 1-yard touchdown run. Jonah Kleiman's kick trimmed the deficit to 21-7 with 10 seconds left in the third quarter.
Glenbrook North senior Ryusei Matsumoto then delivered a perfect onside kick, covered by teammate MacLean Mulvihill at Deerfield's 48-yard line.
A Deerfield penalty and Graham Gottschild's 18-yard catch led to Gaffney's 5-yard option run for a touchdown and 21-14 score at 10:31 of the fourth quarter.
"I just kick it in the middle (of the ball) as strongly as I can, which makes it wobbly, almost no spin, which is good for an onside kick. It kind of like skidded through the cracks, I was lucky with that," Matsumoto said.
Purdy considered a second straight onside kick, but the Spartans would have been OK regardless had they held on fourth-and-14. Instead, Jones threw to Schimanski for exactly that yardage to continue a scoring drive. Schimanski's 20-yard fingertip catch gave the Warriors a 28-14 lead with 6:42 to play.
Jones completed 21 of 35 passes for 205 yards.
Glenbrook North still had a chance when Deerfield got called for intentional grounding, forcing a punt on fourth-and-27. Instead, the Warriors maintained possession on a penalty for roughing the punter.
Glenbrook North didn't see the ball again until 2:55 remained. After two Spartan first downs, an interception by Deerfield's Aaron Pelts ended it.
A homecoming fireworks show followed. The Spartans, who host Maine South at 7 p.m. Friday, weren't in the mood.
"I've said it before and I'll say it again, I love this team. and I'll go to war with this team," Philbin said. "It just hasn't gone the way we wanted to, and that's why we're all very upset after this one."