St. Francis shuts out Evergreen Park
It's not supposed to be this easy, be it the second round of the Class 4A state football playoffs.
But St. Francis coach Bob McMillen was quick to point out his team's 42-0 thrashing of Evergreen Park Saturday afternoon wasn't exactly easy.
It just looked that way, despite initial rain and constant high winds.
"We don't think it was an easy game," McMillen said. "That's a good football team over there. I thought our boys played well. We made some mistakes that we've got to clean up. It's nice to move on to the third round."
The Spartans advanced to travel to Rochelle next weekend. McMillen and his coaches traveled there Friday to watch the Hubs dispatch Johnsburg 34-22.
On Saturday, Evergreen Park tried an onside kick to start the game.
Poor decision. On its first play from scrimmage, St. Francis junior quarterback Alessio Milivojevic hit senior receiver Dash Dorsey for a 65-yard touchdown. It was a screen pass to the right, and Dorsey lived up to his first name, outracing the Mustangs' defensive backfield.
"It's always good to start with a touchdown on the first play, to get the momentum on your side and keep it rolling," Milivojevic said. "We saw no one over him, tossed it over to him and he did the rest."
Added Dorsey, who will play at Kent State next year: "I put all my trust in my teammates that they could go out there and block for me, and I knew I had to be patient and read my where my linemen were going."
Things would not get better for the Mustangs. After going three-and-out on their first possession, the Spartans put together a 61-yard drive covering 3:09 that culminated in senior Amari Head's 3-yard touchdown.
But wait ... there's more. With 4:18 left to go before the half, St. Francis blocked an Evergreen Park punt that rolled and rolled and finally ended up in the hands of senior Nick Duzansky, an Oregon recruit, who walked into the end zone.
A Milivojevic-to-Dorsey 23-yard touchdown pass just before the half essentially cinched the game for the Spartans (10-1).
"We've been working for months and months throughout the whole year, and we're really confident in each other," Milivojevic said "We just trust each other knowing we're going to be on the routes and knowing where we're going to be on our blocks. Everything else like that."
Confidence also comes from what senior lineman TJ McMillen did roughly two hours before gametime, walking the field in deep contemplation. What was he thinking about?
"I was walking through every single run play, passing play, OK, what do I do here?" said McMillen, an Illinois recruit.