Saturday, August 27, 2016

Maine South defeated Montini...

...last night, 44-13, in what could only be described as a rout. In fact, if it wasn't for a fluke fumble-recovery-for-a-touchdown on the first series of downs the Broncos may have been held to just seven points all night. And without Montini's other score, a 70-yard scamper from running back Will Smith, it could have been a shutout.

You can read Michael O'Brien's article in the Sun-Times here, but the key was this:

Montini was without star running back Prince Walker, a Western Michigan recruit. According to [coach Chris] Adriano he has a quad strain. 

What would the game have been like had Walker played? Who knows?

But I will tell you this: Maine South is a very good team. While O'Brien talked a lot about Hawks quarterback Nick Leongas, and Michigan State recruit Kevin Jarvis (OL, 6-5, 325) gets a lot of attention (and rightly so -- this kid is huge!), Maine South also has a solid defense and some tall and very sure-handed receivers. But the standout player for me?

Maine South running back Fotis Kokosioulis (above) was another eye-opener. He had 23 carries for 211 yards with touchdown runs of 31 and 13 yards.

This guy is fast, quick and the real deal. The great Maine South teams of yore always had a first-rate running back. Kokosioulis (good luck pronouncing that) fits right into that mold. Also, from O'Brien's piece:

It was the biggest margin of defeat suffered by Montini since the opening game in 2004.

All I can say is Loyola had better be ready next week because this is probably the best Maine South team I've seen in a while. Last year the Ramblers beat the Hawks like a rented mule, 49-8, in Park Ridge.* Unless I'm completely off-base, this year's tilt will be much closer.

In other news in high school football, three state champs last year -- Montini (6A), Phillips (4A) and McNamara (3A) -- all lost their openers. Does that matter? Not really; but it's worth mentioning.

You know who else lost last night? Perennial post-season teams such as Naperville Central, 35-6, at the hands of Glenbard North (could the Panthers be the team to beat this year?); Bolingbrook; Richards; Simeon; Stevenson; Cary-Grove; Joliet Catholic; Batavia and Jacobs. (The Golden Eagles were shut out, 35-0, by Huntley! Maybe last year's 10-1 finish for the Red Raiders wasn't just a one-off.)

But all of those teams will be in the hunt come November.

Finally, besides that Maine South at Loyola game next Saturday I'll be keeping my eye on two other match-ups that could be interesting:

IC Catholic at St. Laurence; and
Crete-Monee at Brother Rice

Last night, IC shut out defending 3A champ McNamara, 34-0 (!), while St. Laurence defeated Benet, 31-21, on the road. (The Knights could be my sleeper team.)

And Crete-Monee, for its part, took care of business against Thornton Fractional South, 42-7. Now depending on Sunday's game at Soldier Field between arch-rivals Brother Rice and Marist, that could be a heck of a game at 99th and Pulaski next Friday.

* Why do people beat rented mules?

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