Scouting Cook County quarterfinal playoff football games
No. 6 Maine South (10-1) at No. 3 Barrington (11-0)
When: Saturday, 5 p.m.
Last week: Maine South 33, Belleville East 22; Barrington 28, Naperville Central 21
Last meeting: Week 3 2022: Maine South 38, Barrington 7 (game was later forfeited by Maine South)
Advancement: Winner plays winner of No. 2 Lincoln-Way East at No. 7 Warren
Outlook: This game should be like looking into a mirror for both teams. Both teams rush the ball extremely well and throw with tremendous accuracy with their junior quarterbacks. They also play tough defense, especially in the red zone. They share five common opponents. Maine South beat Warren 28-7, Palatine 28-21, Fremd 24-7, New Trier 50-3 and Glenbrook South 45-36. Barrington beat Warren 40-33, Palatine 50-32, Fremd 13-7, New Trier 22-14 and Glenbrook South twice, 27-19 in the regular season and 42-18 in the playoffs.
"When people ask, I say we are playing us," Maine South coach Dave Inserra said. "From the colors of the teams to the passion for the game, to the coaching experience, to the styles of play. Both teams are different in players, but very much the same. It will be a great game of very good offenses and kicking games."
Barrington coach Joe Sanchez echoed Inserra's thoughts.
"It's obviously always great to be playing November football," Sanchez said. "I believe both teams are very similar in regard to the way they play in all three phases. We are excited for the opportunity to compete against such a great program."
When Maine South has the ball: The Hawks have always been known for their offensive prowess and this season is no different with them averaging 35 points. Constantine Coines, who began the season as a backup quarterback but moved into the starting role after an injury, has been terrific. He has completed 63% of his passes for 2,366 yards and 22 touchdowns. He is a dual threat, with 904 rushing yards and 13 touchdowns. Michael Dellumo has gained 710 yards on the ground for the Hawks with 11 touchdowns. He is also a threat to catch the ball with 395 receiving yards and six touchdowns. Justin Turner leads the Hawks in receiving with 792 yards and three touchdowns while Evan Agosto has 778 yards and 11 touchdowns and Nick Wing 269 yards and two touchdowns. Zak Stoilov, who has five Division I offers, anchors the offensive line.
When Barrington has the ball: The Broncos offense has been just as strong, averaging 37 points per game. It starts at running back with Dillon Fitzpatrick, who has gained over 400 of his 1,481 rushing yards in the playoffs. He has 22 rushing touchdowns and 224 receiving yards and two touchdowns. Quarterback Nick Peipert has completed 68% of his passes. He has thrown for 2,301 yards and 30 touchdowns. He is not as effective of as rusher as Coines, but still has 216 yards and two touchdowns. He has a trio of talented receivers. Matt Marusich has 719 receiving yards and 13 touchdowns, Will Nazha has 670 yards and six touchdowns while Conor Fitzpatrick has 263 yards and five touchdowns.
Both teams have been very stout defensively all season. The Hawks have allowed just 13.5 points per game led by Samuel Cooper, Michael Mizwicki, Logan Tomlinson, Joseph Naughton, Tyler Fortis and Clark Simpson. Barrington allowed 20 points per game. The Broncos' run defense has been fierce in the playoffs, holding Glenbrook South and Naperville Central each to under 100 rushing yards. They are led by Devan Van Ness, Ian Marderosian, Brooks Howard, Cole Slater, Travis Soto, Marusich and Nazha.
If the game comes down to kicking, Maine South would have a definitive advantage. Kicker/punter Ethan Stumpf is a Division I kicking prospect.
The teams have split their four playoff meetings with the last game being in 2016.
The game will be broadcast live on WCIU-TV.