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After an inspired effort by Evanston’s entire defense in the first half of Friday’s 106th meeting with arch-rival New Trier, it was the Trevians’ turn to make a big play on defense.
And the Trevians did just that, coming away with a 14-12 victory before a disappointed near-capacity crowd at Memorial Stadium.
New Trier defensive end Devin Murphy forced Evanston quarterback Matt Little to toss an incomplete PAT pass in the final minute of play, allowing the unbeaten Trevians to hang on for the win in the Central Suburban League South division opener for both teams.
Evanston slipped to 3-2 on the season overall,and the fact that the Wildkits still hold the edge in the all-time series 54-47 (with 5 ties) between the two schools wasn’t much consolation for the losers.
The hurt from this loss will linger for awhile.
“It hurts. But it’s a Week 5 game, it’s not the end of the season,” pointed out Evanston head coach Mike Burzawa. “We fought tooth and nail and we gave it everything we had. It just didn’t happen for us.
“It was a great high school football game. Our defense gave a great effort and it was really a hard-fought battle. We did a great job of coming back at the end, we just didn’t execute on that 2-point play.”
Evanston self-destructed on its penultimate drive, as after reaching midfield, quarterback Little absorbed a 14-yard sack. Back-to-back procedure penalties pushed the hosts farther back, and then a low center snap to punter Owen Ennis gave New Trier a first down at the 1.
New Trier’s Francis Fay scored on a 1-yard run with 3 minutes, 3 seconds remaining, but as it turned out that was plenty of time for ETHS to force a possible overtime. Little drove the Wildkits 71 yards to paydirt in 12 plays, with Tray Banks crashing into the end zone from the 3.
Banks was also the intended receiver on the conversion pass attempt, but Murphy harassed Little (10-of-29 for 140 yards) and forced the senior QB to throw the ball while being chased out of the pocket.
A 31-yard field goal by Ennis with 2 seconds left on the clock marked the only scoring in the first half. He also booted a 33-yarder with 9:25 remaining to cut Evanston’s deficit to 7-6 at that point.
New Trier quarterback Clay Czyzynski (20 carries for 82 yards) scored on a 1-yard plunge to cap off a 13-play, 75-yard scoring drive to open the second half.