Elter overcomes nerves, leads Palatine past Fremd

The debut of Tommy Elter at quarterback was a smashing success for Palatine.

Elter, a junior, made his first career start Friday night against visiting Fremd, being pressed into service due to an injury to regular QB Grant Dersnah.

Elter admitted he was a little nervous making the start, as would be expected, but he responded in a big way for the Pirates.

The junior completed 14 passes for 216 yards and a touchdown, and unbelievably did not have a single incompletion on the night, although he did throw two picks in Palatine's 31-7 victory.

"This is a great offense to come into, we have a lot of weapons," said Elter. "The boys all have my back out here, I know that, they tell me every day.

"The nerves were running through me at the start of the game, but they came out of me."

Palatine kicker (and wide receiver) Connor May, who got the Pirates on the board early with a 22-yard field goal, said that the team had complete confidence in Elter.

"Tommy's a competitor," said May, who was even pressed into service as relief QB in the fourth quarter, a position he hadn't played since freshman year. "It was his time to step up and he stepped up and led us to victory. We all rallied around him."

After May staked Palatine to a 3-0 lead, the Pirates scored twice more before halftime.

First Dominik Ball took a swing pass from Elter and raced 45 yards down the right sideline for a score.

Palatine got another TD, a 4-yard run by Nate Branch, right before halftime to make it 17-0.

Fremd, meanwhile, was playing well on offense and moving the ball on the ground.

The Vikings had 94 yards rushing in the first two quarters, but couldn't translate that into points.

Fremd got a spark in the third quarter when Jack Wienke intercepted an Elter pass and raced all the way back to the Palatine 20.

But Palatine held and got the ball back on downs, with Jaylen Williams, Rocco Paddack, and Ryan Wagner making big plays on defense.

The Pirates scored twice more in the second half, a 43-yard run by Thomas Coroneos and a tackle breaking 53-yard run by Ball.

Fremd got on the board late with a 43-yard touchdown pass from Caiden Suchy to Wienke.

The offensive line, including Ryan Kick, Nick Gawaluch, Dylan Sarg, Adam Heikkinen and Parker Brault, played a strong game for the home team. On defense, Aiden Wimer recorded two interceptions.

"In the second half tonight, I was much more comfortable," said Elter. "I felt like I was in the flow of the offense, and I had more chemistry with the guys."

May added that it felt good to get the first MSL West win in the books. Palatine is now 4-1, 1-0.

"It feels great," said May. "We rebounded after a tough loss last week (by 1 point to Glenbrook South), and there's no better feeling than to beat your crosstown rival."

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