After beating Zion-Benton for its second straight win to open the season, the Evanston Township High School football team looked to make it three in a row against Maine East on Sept. 7. That is exactly what happened. The Wildkits beat the Blue Demons 40-7 at Lazier Field in Evanston.
In the first quarter, after forcing the Demons to punt, the Kits took an early lead when junior quarterback Chris Little connected with junior receiver Alex Zineddine for an 18-yard touchdown. The extra point was no good, which gave the Kits a 6-0 lead.
On the ensuing possession, the Kits’ Maalik Todd intercepted Demons quarterback Alex Corey’s pass, returning it to the 48 yard-line. From there, on the fourth play of the drive, Little found Zineddine in the end zone again to put the Kits ahead, 13-0.
The Kits then recovered a Demons fumble on the 18-yard line and extended the lead to 20-0 when senior Justin Bishop ran it in from two yards out. The Kits upped the lead to 27-0 in the first quarter when Todd hauled in his second interception, setting up a six-yard touchdown run from senior running back Alex Vergara.
In the second quarter, Vergara scored another touchdown when he ran it in from 19-yards out. This put the Kits ahead, 33-0, which was the score at halftime. In the second half, the teams each exchanged scores as the Kits coasted to victory to improve to 3-0 on the season.
“We just wanted to come out and we wanted to execute, we wanted to be sharp and crisp on both sides of the ball and we were able to take advantage of the wind conditions early on and make it a tough first quarter for them,” said head coach Mike Burzawa.
“We took advantage of field position, we got some turnovers, Little threw some balls, our line did a good job protecting and we looked pretty sharp and it was an overall team win and all our guys got an opportunity to play. This is what we wanted out of our home-stand, we needed to be 3-0 at home so it is a good start for us.”
The Kits were led by Little, who passed for 55 yards and two touchdowns; Vergara, who ran for 52 yards and scored twice; and Bishop, who chipped in with 38 yards and a score.
“Chris was comfortable in the pocket, the line did a good job of keeping the QB clean and for the most part I thought we did a nice job with that,” said Burzawa. “Chris was on the money the first couple series, he had a couple balls get away from him, but we’ll see what we need to do to get better, we also had a couple drops in there too, so there’s still plenty of room for improvement.”
On the defensive side of the ball, coach Burzawa was pleased with his team’s ability to create turnovers and cash in on them. The Kits forced five turnovers that resulted in four touchdowns.
“The turnovers were big. That was critical. You get a couple turnovers, you get them pinned in their own (territory) and that helped ignite us to a fast start,” said Burzawa. “The key is we were able to capitalize on those and that definitely sparked us.”
The Kits have gotten off to a quick start this season, which pleases coach Burzawa, but he knows there is a lot of football left to be played. “[The season is] going well. We said going in, we were excited about the senior class. Overall, we are pleased as a staff but there is still a long way to go. We will see what we are made of as the grind of the season approaches. We will take 3-0 right now, but we certainly will not get ahead of ourselves and take it one game at a time.”
Next up for the Kits is a matchup with Central Suburban foe Glenbrook North in Northbrook on Friday night, followed by a visit to Glenbrook South on Sept. 21.
“GBN is a heck of a football team at home and I’m sure they will be ready for us,” said Burzawa.