After beating Maine East by a score of 52-0 on Sept. 18, the Evanston Township High School football team took on archrival New Trier on Sept. 25 at Lazier Field in Evanston, looking for their third straight win. But unfortunately, the Kits came up just short, falling to the Trevians by a score of 14-12.
The Kits struck first when junior kicker Owen Ennis nailed a 31-yard field goal to give the Kits a 3-0 lead with two seconds remaining in the first half. That score was set up by a 50-yard completion from senior quarterback Matt Little to senior receiver Travion Banks, which put the ball on the 14-yard line.
But in the third quarter, the Trevians responded with a 12-play, 75-yard touchdown drive, making it 7-3 with five minutes 34 seconds remaining in the quarter. The Kits made it a 7-6 game when Owen made a 33-yard field goal with nine minutes and 25 seconds remaining in the fourth quarter.
After the Kits forced the Trevians to punt on the next possession, the Trevians’ defense sacked Matt Little on second down, which was followed by back-to-back false start penalties. Those penalties set up a third and long situation, which resulted in an incomplete pass from Matt Little, forcing the Kits to punt. But a fumbled snap on the punt attempt resulted in the Trevians recovering the ball on the Kits’ one-yard line. On the next play they scored to make it a 14-6 game with three minutes and three seconds remaining.
The Kits refused to go quietly, as they drove 70 yards and scored when Travion ran it in from three yards out with 55 seconds remaining, making it a 14-12 game. The Kits then attempted a game-tying two-point conversion, but Matt Little’s pass to Travion Banks in the back of the end zone fell incomplete, keeping it a 14-12 game.
On the ensuing kickoff, the Kits attempted an onside kick, but it was recovered by the Trevians, allowing the visitors to escape. With the loss, the Kits fell to 3-2 overall and 0-1 in Central Suburban League South Conference play.
“I thought our kids played their hearts out. It was a great high school football game. It came down to one play at the end but the reality is there were several plays before that, so it was just a hard-fought battle,” said Kits’ head coach Mike Burzawa. “I thought our defense played their hearts out and it was a great effort there. We will see how we respond to adversity. Give New Trier credit, they played a good football game too.”
Regarding the drive that resulted in the fumbled snap, Coach Burzawa said, “That was a key drive. Everything that had happened, it almost worked out [that] the best scenario [was] to have the bad snap on the punt because we were only down a score and a two-point [conversion] so that kept a lot of life [on the Kits’ sideline], the offense kept their patience, they did a great job, they came down and scored and we just did not execute the two-point play and we had to go for it there,” the Coach explained. “But you put yourself in a no-mistake situation when that happens. We will look back, but the bottom line is you win as a team and you lose as a team.”
Before the Kits scored their touchdown late in the fourth quarter, the only offense came from Owen’s two field goals. Regarding his performance of Owen Ennis, the Coach said, “Owen did a very nice job. I thought it was going to come down to [a] third field goal there towards the end, but [when] you get in that type of situation, you cannot make any mistakes. But Owen did very good job, and obviously those were two big kicks.”
From there, the Kits attempted to bounce back when they visited Niles West on Oct. 2 which they did, beating the Wolves by a score of 43-27. In that game, Travion led the Kits by scoring three touchdowns including a 20-yard catch, a 95-yard interception return and a 75-yard kickoff return, allowing the Kits to improve to 4-2 overall and 1-1 in CSL South Conference play. The Kits are now one win shy of being eligible for the postseason with three games to play.
Next up, the Kits return to Lazier Field in Evanston to take on CSL South foes Glenbrook South on Oct. 9 and then Waukegan on Oct. 16