Barrington Loses to Glenbrook South 35-28
Barrington’s second half surge was not enough to overcome their 35-7 halftime deficit as the Broncos ended their 2010 football season with a 35-28 playoff lose to the Glenbrook South Titans.
The 8A IHSA football playoffs began with first round action that saw the six seeded Barrington Broncos (7-3) hosting the 11th seeded Glenbrook South Titans (6-4) on Saturday everning. It was an electric atmosphere at Barrington's Community Stadium for a 6 p.m. kickoff.
Both teams ended the regular season in disappointing fashion with consecutive loses. Each team was hoping to turn their season around with a win to open the playoffs, while sending the other team home for the year.
The game began with the Titans, after a touchback on the kickoff, going three and out due to a tough Bronco defensive stance.
Barrington was about to suffer the same offensive fate on their first series, but on 3rd and 13-yards to go for a first, Barrington quarterback Matt LeMire rolled out and hit his target to prolong the drive. A few plays later the Broncos drive entered Titan territory from a balanced attack of passes and Nico Martinez rushes. Martinez (30 carries for 227 yards) was in for Chase Murdock who injured his back in the final game of the regular season against Palatine.
"We found out that he (Murdock) has two broken bones in his lower back," Barrington Coach Joe Sanchez said of Murdock, "He wanted to be out there but it just wasn't to be."
Martinez continued to take the bulk of the Barrington running plays on their first offensive drive but the productive drive abruptly ended with a Martinez fumble and Titan recovery on Glenbrook's 30 yard line.
Glenbrook South quickly capitalized on the Bronco turnover with running back Kyle Kwasniewski's 49-yard touchdown run that not only gave the Titans a 7-0 first quarter lead, but silenced the loudly cheering Barrington fans. Kwasniewski finished the night with 175 yards.
Nico Martinez amended for his fumble by taking the first three plays on the next series for a combined 35 yards, 26 of them happened on his first run. Barrington continued to pound the ball with tough runs behind the offensive line, even running the wildcat behind J.L. Etienne .
"The offensive line did a tremendous job," Coach Sanchez said, "They are the heart and soul of our team, and proved it again with this performance tonight."
Barrington's heavy dose of runs lead them down the field, but the drive went to a crucial 4th and a yard to go and Coach Sanchez didn't hesitate as he called upon Jeremy Rafidia to get the necessary yardage. Rafidia charged forward picking up three yards that kept the drive moving.
"I always believe in those guys up front and what they can do for us," Sanchez said of his team on their multiple successful fourth down conversions on the night.
The converted fourth down was a key play since on the very next play, and the last play of the first quarter, Martinez scored on a 15-yard rush, his 8th rush attempt on the drive which helped the Broncos tie the Titans at 7 after the successful extra point.
Glenbrook South started the second quarter trying to regain the lead and responded with a productive drive that went deep into Bronco territory. After a series of runs, the Titans picked up a bulk of their yards on a nicely setup play action pass from Matt Jenkins to John Strickland. The drive was capped of by Kwesnewski's second rushing touchdown of the evening, this time an 18-yarder that helped pushed the Titans lead to 14-7 after the made extra point.
On the ensuing Titan kickoff, Barrington's Dylan Zyzda, in an emotional week for him and his family, had a nice return to midfield and helped set the Bronco offense up with great field position. The Broncos looked poised to try and tie the game with another productive drive but a costly helmet penalty forced Barrington back into their territory and to punt.
A few plays later the Titans, after a continued running attack, once again utilized the play action pass perfectly as Jenkins hit Max Pompilus for a 63-yard touchdown strike. The extra point added to the Glenbrook South lead which now was 21-7.
The Titans immediately built on their new found momentum a few plays later after recovering a Matt LeMire fumble. To add more insult to the play, because it was a questionable turnover since LeMire looked down when he fumbled, the Broncos were flagged for a personal foul that gave Glenbrook South even better field position. Strickland (25 carries for 121 yards) made the Bronco turnover hurt by punching in a 4-yard touchdown run that gave the Titans a 28-7 lead.
"Points off turnovers killed us," Coach Sanchez said of the Broncos first half turnovers, "Take those points off the board and it's a different game."
Barrington attempted to put points on the board before heading into halftime, but the Broncos instead forced their third turnover of the first half, this time a Matt LeMire interception at the hands of Kevin Schroeder. Glenbrook South again punished the Broncos for their turnover by scoring a few plays later, a 35-yard Jenkins pass play to Strickland and gave the Titans a 35-7 lead as the second quarter was winding down.
Shortly before the end of the half the turnover bug hit the Broncos again as LeMire tried to force a pass down field that was intercepted by the Titan's Schroeder, his second of the night. Barrington avoided a bigger first half deficit when Glenbrook South missed the field goal.
Losing 35-7, Barrington started the second half with Mark Bennett under center, replacing Matt LeMire. Even with the new quarterback the Bronco game plan didn't change much as they continued to run the ball. After four consecutive and successful run plays, Bennett connected with Rafidia on a rollout play-action pass pushing the Broncos deep into Titan territory and continued to orchestrate the drive beautifully by connecting on a pass to Joey Feeney. With the Broncos now on the 5-yard line, Bennett was forced to scramble and sacrifice his body for a tough touchdown run that not only cut into the Titan lead but gave new life to the Broncos and their fans.
Barrington added to their momentum by successfully stopping the productive Titan drive by recovering the Glenbrook South fumble. Rob Wagner not only recovered the fumble but returned the ball beyond midfield. The Broncos capitalized on the very next play with Martinez breaking a tackle on his way to a 21-yard rushing touchdown. Martinez second touchdown on the night cut into the Titan lead 35-21.
Glenbrook South tried to stop the surging Broncos by attempting to drain the clock on a series of runs by Strickland and Kwasniewski but Barrington started the fourth quarter with a great defensive stance on third and fourth down attempts by the Titans that gave the ball back to the Broncos.
Barrington, hoping to continue their improbable comeback, began their drive in the fourth quarter fighting the Titans tough defense, and a new enemy, the clock. The Broncos, who were now controlling the line of scrimmage, charged forward behind the tough running of Martinez and the offensive line.
"It wasn't just me tonight," Nico Martinez said after the game, "We were a strong unit; we just came up a little short tonight."
Barrington had a chance to score quickly but the Bennett pass, which was threaded over three Titan defenders, was unable to be corralled by Zack Dulla as the ball fell off his fingers during his diving attempt to catch the ball. But a few plays later, after another successfully 4th down attempt, Dulla managed an acrobatic touchdown catch of a Bennett pass near the pylon. With the touchdown Barrington was now only down by a touchdown, 35-28.
"We (the team) did everything we could; we made adjustments at halftime but we just ran out of time," said Mark Bennett of the loss.
The Titans, with a 35-28 lead, took their next offensive drive deep into Bronco territory on run plays designed to not only eat up yards but also valuable time. Barrington was forced to use their remaining three time-outs to stop the clock as the time dipped under the two minute mark. The game, and all hopes for Barrington's dramatic comeback, ended as the Titans managed to convert on fourth and inches which kept the clock moving towards zero.
"We just ran out of time," said Barrington back-up quarterback Mark Bennett, "We just wanted a few more minutes and the defense almost got us the ball back."
"That was perhaps the greatest half I have ever witnessed in football," Sanchez said of his teams second half performance, "They (the team) once again proved how much fight they have; we just dug ourselves too much of a whole in that first half, but I couldn't be prouder of their performance."