Defense leads Hawks' rout over Bartlett

Defense leads Hawks' rout over Bartlett

Sunday, Nov. 7, 201012:34 AM

By Matt Harness

Maine South's signature offense somewhat struggled finding the end zone in Saturday's first half, but its defense did the job.

The Hawks moved one step closer to defending its consecutive Class 8A championships with their 36-12 win over Bartlett in Park Ridge.

Maine South (9-2) moves on to play Stevenson (11-0) in the quarterfinals Saturday. The Patriots beat South Elgin 10-7.

"Our defense is definitely clicking, and we're coming together as a unit," Maine South senior linebacker Connor Klein. "We've played some good offenses that are heavy on run, and our defense is shutting them down."

The Hawks overcame two turnovers in the first quarter to lead 16-0 at the half. Maine South's defense limited Bartlett (8-3) to 23 yards and zero first downs in the first two quarters. Maine South also forced three turnovers.

"Our job is to give the defense the ball," said Maine South senior defensive end Andrew Terenzio, who recorded a sack and helped the Hawks stop Bartlett on 10 consecutive third downs.

Maine South sophomore quarterback Matt Alviti went 18-for-24 for 340 yards. He threw four touchdowns and one interception. Alviti also scored a touchdown on the ground.

Paul Preston ran 16 times for 152 yards. His counterpart Andy Puccini didn't find as much success. Although the senior ran for 99 yards on 18 carries, he managed 14 yards in the first three quarters and also threw an interception on a halfback pass.

"We definitely didn't come out like we normally do," said Bartlett coach Tom Meaney, whose team lost to Maine South 23-6 during the 2008 playoffs. "In some cases, it looked like we were frozen. Maybe it's because Maine South is the state champions."

After Will Krug's second interception, Maine South went up 23-0 in the third quarter on Alviti's second scoring pass to Jimmy Frankos, who also kicked a 23-yard field goal in the first half.

Alviti threw two more TDs in the second half, including a 70-yarder to Scott Derrick.

Both of Bartlett's touchdowns came in the fourth quarter after the Hawks were down 29-0. Puccini scored on a 32-yard run, and A.J. Bilyeu found Russell Martin for a 5-yard TD that completed the game's scoring.

"After those two losses to start the season, we said we were going to run the table," said Terenzio, whose team is on a nine-game winning streak. "We seem to have that swagger back."

Seven years ago today LeBron James slammed the Bulls' championship window shut


Seven years ago today LeBron James slammed the Bulls' championship window shut

The Bulls couldn't have known it at the time, but when LeBron James blocked a Derrick Rose 3-point attempt in the final seconds of Game 5 in the 2011 Eastern Conference Finals, it was the closest those Bulls would ever get to the promised land.

It happened on May 26, 2011, seven long, long, long years ago today.

The game was an ugly one and certainly a fourth quarter the Bulls would love to have back. They took a 12-point lead on a Ronnie Brewer 3-pointer with 3:53 remaining. The Heat closed the game on a 19-4 run, with James' emphatic block on Rose the lasting image of the series.

James finished with a game-high 28 points and 11 rebounds, and added six assists, three steals and two blocks in 46 minutes.

Rose went just 9-for-29, finishing the series shooting 35 percent from the field after being named league MVP over James.

It's probably unfair to say James and James alone shut the Bulls' championship window. Rose's ACL tear the following postseason realistically was the biggest culprit. But these Bulls had won 62 games, had homecourt advantage, had the MVP, the Coach of the Year and all the momentum. And still they couldn't get it done against James.

That win also sent James to the NBA Finals for the first time since 2007. He's been there every year since, though that could change as he faces the Celtics on Sunday in Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Finals.

90 Days to Kickoff: Warren


90 Days to Kickoff: Warren

NBCSportsChicago.com preps reporter "Edgy" Tim O’Halloran spotlights 100 high school football teams in 100 days. The first 75 team profiles will focus on teams making strides across Chicagoland and elsewhere in the state. Starting July 30, we’ll unveil the @NBCSPrepsTop 25 Power Rankings, leading up to kickoff on Friday, Aug. 24.

School: Warren Township

Head coach: Bryan McNulty

Assistant coaches: Jim Voutiritsas, Brandon Schild, Justin Van Schaik, Tayler Erbach and Mark Mika

How they fared in 2017: 7-4 (5-2 North Suburban Conference). Warren Township made the IHSA 8A playoff field. The Blue Devils defeated Bolingbrook then lost to Maine South in second round action.

2018 Regular Season Schedule

Aug. 24 vs Barrington

Aug. 31 @ Glenbard North

Sept. 7 vs Waukegan

Sept. 14 vs Libertyville

Sept. 21 @ Lake Forest

Sept. 28 @ Zion-Benton

Oct. 5 vs Lake Zurich

Oct. 12 vs Stevenson

Oct. 19 @ Mundelein

Biggest storyline: Can The Blue Devils make it back-to-back postseason appearances and challenge for the North Suburban Conference title?

Names to watch this season: DL Zack Pelland, DT Willis Singleton and RB Martin Walker

Biggest holes to fill: The Blue Devils will need to find a new pass/catch tandem to replace graduated QB Ian Schilling and a strong group in the skills department, led by WR Micah Jones (Notre Dame).  

EDGY's Early Take: The Blue Devils had a nice 2017 season. After starting seven sophomores on the varsity level a year ago, head coach Bryan McNulty has the rare combination of youth and experience this fall. The defense will be a definite strength going into the season. The offense will rely on the running game, which features four starting offensive linemen back in the fold along with senior RB Martin Walker. If the passing game can come along, this team can once again challenge in the North Suburban Conference race and also in the overall 8A picture.