LINCOLNSHIRE, Ill. --In the past 10 years of the North Suburban Lake rivalry between Stevenson and Warren, the Patriots and Blue Devils haven’t moved without one another: five wins apiece, no win streak longer than two-years and no more than one other school between them in the standings at the conclusion of each regular season. Friday night in Lincolnshire, the proximity of the two programs was nowhere to be found as Stevenson jumped on the board early and never trailed in its 24-7 win over the Blue Devils.
Stevenson scored on its first possession, an 11-play, 68-yard drive capped off by an Joe Cassata 3-yard touchdown run, and then forced its first of three Warren turnovers on the ensuing possession. On their second drive, the Patriots took to the air as seniors Kevin Earl and Stephen Salata connected on the first of two picture-perfect touchdown passes, a 12-yard strike with 2:42 remaining in the first quarter. With momentum riding high, Stevenson would pick off Warren quarterback, Bob Boesch, on the very next play thanks to a highlight reel tipped-ball interception by senior, Chris Duffey; (It's worth pointing out that Duffey’s second interception was just as impressive.)
In total, Warren ran just 4-plays in the first quarter, and would trail 21-0 at the half.
“We won the first tournament, but now we go for 2-0,” said first-year Stevenson head coach, Bill McNamara. “We want to break the season down into three 3-game tournaments, and we’ve just accomplished our first goal.”
The Blue Devils’ offense tried to spark a rally in the second half, but after its lone score (a 50-yard halfback pass from Nolan Sordyl to Mitch Munda), the Patriots ground game took over, controlling the ball and the clock down the stretch. Junior Matthew Micucci’s 26-yard 3rd quarter field goal sealed the deal; SHS senior, Brian Wood, would finish with 10 tackles and two sacks despite playing with a broken-hand suffered last week at Glenbrook South.
Player of the game: Stevenson WR Stephen Salata
Stat of the game: Stevenson WR Stephen Salata: 6 Rec. 113-yards, 2 TD; Stevenson LB Brian Wood: 10 Tackles, 2 Sacks; Stevenson DB Chris Duffey: 2 INTs;
It was over when: Matthew Micucci nailed a 26-yard Field Goal with :57 left in the third quarter.
Quote of the night: "Yeah, our running game wasn’t opening up in the first half, but we were able to get on the board through the air. It’s ok though, we’re just happy to get the win.” – Stephen Salata, on Stevenson’s failed attempt to keep up it’s 42 PPG average