Evanston football has been fun to watch this past month. The Wildkits outscored Deerfield and Waukegan by 37 points on Sept. 17 and 26 , and they wanted to carry that momentum into what was considered the toughest part of the season.
Head Coach Mike Burzawa was very pleased with his team’s performances against Deerfield and Waukegan in which Evanston controlled the game on both sides of the ball.
But just as Evanston was celebrating its first winning record in years, the Wildkits knew they would have a tough game against the number one ranked team in the state, Maine South.
On 3, the Maine South Hawks came into the game against the Kits as a dominant Illinois powerhouse and the perennial favorite to win the Central Suburban League South division.
The Hawks were 5-0 and were looking towards a second straight undefeated season. Although the Hawks were highly favored, the Kits gave them a good fight.
Early on in the game in Park Ridge, Evanston’s defense flustered every phase of Maine South’s powerful offense.
Senior quarterback for the Hawks, Tyler Benz, was pressured early and often by the Kits. In the first quarter alone, Benz lost a fumble and was later sacked in the end zone by Curtis Wideman, for an Evanston safety to bring the Kits to within 7-2.
But as good as Evanston’s defense was working against a great offense, Evanston’s own offense could not produce.
Evanston’s stronghold on offense so far this season was its rushing attack, and it has been a staple of Coach Burzawa’s playbook ever since their first win against Hubbard.
Against the Hawks, though, Randall Massie carried 16 times for only 62 yards and had no breakaway runs as Evanston fans have grown to expect.
Overall the Wildkits rushed for only 106 yards. Senior quarterback Kevin Rosinski only completed 3 of 13 passes for 38 yards.
Even though Evanston’s defense seemed to have a feel for the Hawks’ quarterback and offense, they could not stop one man, senior running back/defensive end Matt Perez.
Perez, a likely candidate for best overall player in the state, gave Evanston fits on both sides of the ball by running through tacklers on offense and tackling running backs behind the line on defense.
With the Hawks leading 14-2 in the second half, Perez ran for two touchdowns to put the game out of reach. Benz passed for two more touchdowns to bring the final score to 30-2.
With a tough and hard fought loss behind them and bringing their record to an even 3-3, Evanston faced off on Oct. 9 against long-time rival New Trier for the historic 100th time.
Before the game at Lazier Field, alumni from both schools were honored for making the gridiron battle between the two great programs so classic. Unfortunately, the actual game was anything but for the Kits.
Both teams came in with 3-3 overall and 1-1 conference records, and it was clear that the victor of the contest would be in the driver’s seat for a playoff berth.
New Trier dominated throughout the game. The Trevians held Evanston to a season low 42 yards rushing, while their offense dominated time of possession in the second half. Trevian quarterback Stu Brown carried 15 times for a career high 83 yards.
The Trevian’s senior tailback Isaac Perlmutter scored two touchdowns to bring the Trevian lead to 20-0. Evanston’s offense was completely shut down throughout the entire game. The Trevians went on to win, 27-0, their eighth straight win over Evanston.
Next up for the Kits is Niles West this Friday night in Skokie, then it is back to Evanston to finish off the season against Glenbrook South.
Evanston needs to win these both games to have any chance of getting into the playoffs, and hopefully play like they did late last month.