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Trailing by one point at halftime, Evanston’s football team found plenty of reason to play with a collective chip on its shoulder Friday night, Oct. 9, against Glenbrook South.
And the Wildkits responded by owning the second half in a 42-28 victory that delivered playoff-eligible status for the winners — and a chance to earn at least a share of the Central Suburban League South division championship, too.
Evanston’s fifth victory of the season assured the Kits of an Illinois High School Association playoff opportunity and kept them one game behind Maine South in the conference chase. Evanston improved to 5-2 overall and 2-1 in league play, while Glenbrook South fell to 3-4 overall.
Wins in their final two games against Waukegan and Maine South would bring a co-championship in the CSL South for coach Mike Burzawa’s squad, the first for the program since 1997.
Senior tailback Micquel Roseman ran for 3 touchdowns and a career-high 160 yards, and both Roseman and Tray Banks added clutch interceptions in the red zone in a back-and-forth shootout that saw the two teams combine for almost 900 yards of total offense.
With starting safety Jacob Greifer sidelined by an injury late in the first quarter, Evanston’s pass defense was in disarray and the Titans scored twice in the final 1 minute, 33 seconds of the first half to seize a 21-20 advantage at the intermission.
But the hosts outscored GBS 22-7 in the second half as Roseman scored on a 2-yard run to climax a 6-play, 68 yard drive to start the second half. Quarterback Matt Little (10-of-17 for 191 yards) added a 61-yard TD pass to Brad Garron and Banks raced 41 yards for the game-clinching score with 7 minutes, 56 seconds left in the contest.
Roseman’s interception inside the 10 stopped a GBS threat in the third quarter with the Wildkits clinging to a six-point lead.
“We had Micquel squatting on that pass pattern, and that was a chess match that we won that time. That was a great pick,” Burzawa said. “We knew that a turnover or two would make a big difference tonight.
“When Greifer went down we really didn’t make the right adjustments until halftime and we were mad because we felt like we should have been up by two touchdowns. But we came out with a chip on our shoulders in the second half and we really competed. We had a lot of guys who stepped up and produced. They gave us everything we asked for and we were able to contain their (Glenbrook’s) big plays for the most part.
“We thought we could get to 5 wins this year (after missing the playoffs last season) but it’s still the regular season. We just want to compete in our division.”
Roseman carried 24 times for 160 yards and raced for a 59-yard score over right guard the first time he touched the ball Friday night. He also scored on an 8-yard run on the second play of the second quarter.
Little hit TeArthur Hunt for a 30-yard TD pass with 53 seconds remaining in the first half but South, aided by a penalty for a late hit out of bounds, responded to claim a 21-20 lead on a 1-yard run by Ryan Janczak.