Nothing went right for Evanston’s football team on Friday the 13th.
The Wildkits staggered to a 30-0 road loss against previously winless Palatine and dropped to 1-2 on the season.
Bad center snaps, roughing the kicker penalties and two turnovers all added up to a disappointing loss for Coach Mike Burzawa’s young squad, and now the challenge is for Burzawa and Co. not to let Friday’s performance determine just how their season will go.
“We struggled in every phase of the game tonight,” said the veteran coach. “We made a lot of mental mistakes and we did not play up to our capabilities. We were up against an 0-2 team that was fighting for their lives — and we made their season.
“We had two special teams’ plays that killed us. We were undisciplined as a team and that’s on me as a head coach, to clean those things up. It’s a disappointing loss and I’m not gonna make excuses. We’re a lot better football team than we showed tonight.”
Palatine quarterback Joe Ayaia threw for 3 touchdowns and also ran for a score as the Pirates piled up 369 yards of total offense against an Evanston defense that, for the second straight week, couldn’t stop the run or the pass.
Ayai twice burned the Kits for long scoring bombs on play-action passes — covering 68 and 69 yards, both connections with receiver Luka Popovic — and added a pair of scores in the third quarter on a 5-yard run and 19-yard completion to Michael Jaggers.
Evanston fell into an early 10-0 hole and never could climb out. The Kits mustered just 95 yards on the ground and Sean Cruz completed only 7-of-15 passes for 63 yards and an interception. The sophomore quarterback was sacked twice and lost a fumble in the second quarter that stopped an ETHS drive at the Palatine 33-yard line.
Evanston hosts Fremd, a 35-21 loser to Maine South on Friday, next Friday at Lazier Field.