Two weeks ago, you would’ve had a hard time finding anyone who believed in Barrington’s varsity football team.
The Broncos were 0-2 and had looked pretty lethargic much of the time, being outscored 65-27.
Fast forward two weeks. The Broncos are 2-2, have outscored their last two opponents 82-16 and are seeminfly on cruise control heading into their Mid-Suburban West opener next week after Friday night’s 40-10 win over visiting Buffalo Grove (1-3) in a Mid-Suburban League divisional crossover.
“There’s no doubt,” said Barrington coach Joe Sanchez. “We’ve got to continue what we’ve started.”
And they started out pretty strongly against BG. The Broncos’ first play from scrimmage was a Dan Kubiuk-to-Mitch Pfieffer 75-yard TD pass on which the play was wide open as BG seemed to be looking for a run from Justin Dragosz.
Barely 90 seconds later, Dragosz finished off a 57-yard, 5-play drive with a 20-yard bolt up the middle for a 14-0 lead.
And as long as there was some time to kill in the first quarter and BG hadn’t made a first down yet, the Broncos finished the quarter with a four-minute, 34-second possession on an 82-yard drive that ended with a 19-yard Kubiuk-to-Ryan Crowley pass down the middle that caught BG definitely not expecting the big tight end to even attempt getting behind them.
It was 33-3 at halftime as Kubiuk found Matt Moran uncovered for a 35-yard score and Dragosz added another TD to conclude a 57-yard drive on a 1-yard run.
At the half, Barrington had 203 passing yards and 154 rushing yards, or more than four times BG’s total offense.
The secret to the success is there’s no secret.
“We’re working hard as a team,” said defensive lineman Ben Calamari, who paced an effort that got to BG quarterback Andrew Apel (5-of-8, 32 yards) all night, twice dropping him for losses and forcing him to throw on the run much of the time.
“Our weakness the first two weeks was getting to the passer,” Calamari said.
No longer, and as Calamari pointed out, “We’re shutting down the run.”
BG had 166 yards rushing, but 52 came on ever-hustling Ryan Schumi’s nifty 52-yard TD scamper in the fourth quarter. BG coach Mike DiMatteo called Schumi a constant “100-mile-per-hour guy.”
But the Barrington offensive turnaround has come as the Broncos diversified their play-calling and turned Kubiuk loose. His 13-of-18, 241-yard passing performance proves that.
“We came out throwing the ball,” said Kubiuk, which enabled Dragosz to rush for 114 yards. “Our receivers really stepped it up,” he added after Pfieffer, Moran and Andrew Matella all had big nights receiving.
But it all starts, as Kubiuk indicated, with the offensive line.
“Our offensive line was awesome tonight,” he said.
The Broncos unit of Jackson Keeler, Akeel Abdelhaldi, Justin Cooper, Bruce Workman and Vito Anzalone is getting healthier and more effective.
“Barrington’s very athletic,” said DiMatteo. Plus, “We came out flat. That’s my fault,” he noted, but, “It’s part of the turnaround process.”
Barrington, however, seems to have found itself. The new Barrington, that is.
“This is the real Barrington,” said Kubiuk.
“I’m hoping it’s the one you saw tonight,” said Sanchez.
“Definitely,” said Calamari.Copyright © 2013 Paddock Publications, Inc. All rights reserved.