Barrington's high-powered attack beats Palatine to take MSL West lead
This week back in 1992 the power ballad, “November Rain” by Guns 'N Roses was one of America's biggest hits.
For Palatine and Barrington to be able to have the opportunity to play in a similar setting when postseason play starts in a couple of weeks, they both would need to find their way through some October rain that made its way into the greater Chicagoland area Friday.
That made for some interesting challenges for both teams in their battle to snare the Mid-Suburban West's automatic berth at Frederick/Motor Werks Auto Group Field at Barrington Community Stadium.
“It's fine right now,” Palatine coach Corey Olson said as his team took the field for pregame warm-ups.
“I think we might get lucky tonight,” Barrington coach Joe Sanchez said in regards to the weather forecast as he stood on the sidelines during the waning moments of the sophomore contest between both schools.
While the rain receded into a gentle mist for both squads as well as those in attendance, the luck which Sanchez originally referred to also transferred to his football team. The Broncos got past a pugilistic Pirate squad 50-32 to place alone in first atop the MSL West with a trip to Conant next Friday standing between them (8-0, 4-0) and the program's third undefeated regular season since 2017.
“Obviously that's a great team over there (in Palatine),” Sanchez said. “They have a lot of talent. They're just really well coached, so it's one of those games no matter what kind of a lead you got, you don't breathe easy.
“So, I'm just proud of my boys, proud of their resiliency. Anytime we were down we kept battling. We kept coming up with (big) plays. That touchdown at the end of the (first) half was huge. That was big in terms of getting that momentum back.”
The momentum he refers to was a 12-yard TD strike from Nick Peipert to tight end Ian Tepas that put the hosts ahead to stay 22-18 with just three seconds left in a first half that saw five lead changes between the teams.
Then with 3:17 left in the third Barrington seized game control when Peipert (13-15-178 yards) connected with Matt Marusich on a 25-yard screen with pinpoint accuracy that placed the Broncos up 29-18.
“Usually it's my first read,” Peipert said of the second of his three TD tosses. “I throw (the football) right away but I had to pump-fake (it) because there was a a guy in my path, so a gap opened up and I just lobbed it up and I knew he'd come down with it and he ran it (the route) like he always does.”
A 28-yard scoring strike to Quentin Muhs followed the second of Dillon Fitzpatrick's three touchdown jaunts (5 yards) giving Barrington a 43-18 advantage with 6:33 to play. Palatine (5-3, 3-1) ralled to within 43-32 with a pair of TD runs by reserve running back Jessie Blake (2 yards) and Kole Fager's second score via a direct snap from center from the 3 with 2:54 remaining.
Fitzpatrick (21 carries, 173 yards) wrapped up the scoring on a 31-yard run after Palatine's onside kick was penalized for not traveling the required 10 yards.
Elter finished 15-of-24 passing for 173 yards with a TD pass and 2 interceptions while Pirates senior Dominick Ball added 112 yards on 17 carries.
“Our kids are tough kids. They want to win,” Olson said. “They fought hard but Barrington played better then we did. (They) made more plays than we did and credit to them. They were more physical and (that's) why they won the game.”