Next February 7, Zion-Benton High School fans will get an up-close look at what the state’s best boys basketball team looks like when Stevenson visits the Bee Hive.
Friday night, those same Z-B fans got an equally up-close look at what the state’s best football team looks like … and darned if it wasn’t Stevenson again.
What are the chances of that happening in the same school year?
Certainly better than the chance Zion’s football team (3-4, 1-3) had of upsetting the Patriots (7-0, 4-0). The result was never in doubt as the Patriots rolled to a 34-0 halftime lead and finished with a 41-0 North Suburban Conference Lake Division victory.
Stevenson scored straight out on four of its first-half possessions. On the fifth, it had to punt, but Zion-Benton’s returner muffed the catch, and Stevenson recovered and drove for a score.
Jack Joseph (17 carries, 177 yards) had TD runs of 46, 11 and 10 yards in the first half and scored from the 7 in the third period to kick the game into running-clock mode. Tyler Vincent scored from the 1, and QB Willie Bourbon (7-of-10, 103 yards) passed 14 yards for a TD to Henry Marchese.
Meanwhile, Zion quarterback Doug Gates was 10-of-16 passing for 91 yards and one interception. The Bees’ rushing yards were negligible.
“Nice win for us,” said Stevenson coach Bill McNamara. “Zion is always a tough place to play. You’ve got to come out sharp, and our kids came out sharp tonight.”
Stevenson’s defense has been dominant all fall, but the offense was equally as impressive on this night.
“One of our goals for tonight was to start hot and stay hot,” McNamara added. “Our kids came out ready to play tonight, which was a tribute to their preparation and the respect that they have for Zion.”
The hottest Patriot was Joseph, a 5-11, 195-pound senior.
“Our offensive line made it work for me tonight,” Joseph said. “We have to come out hard like this every game. It all started in practice this week, and we just have to keep it going and keep coming out hot.”
Next Friday, Stevenson will celebrate homecoming against winless Mundelein. Zion-Benton will face Lake Forest.