BUFFALO GROVE — A Mid-Suburban East title may have slipped beyond the grasp of Buffalo Grove’s football team, but its playoff hopes got a boost in the form of two quarterbacks.
After a quick start Friday night, Buffalo Grove fell to defending MSL East champ Rolling Meadows 27-10. But the homecoming loss at Grant Blaney Stadium was marked by the return of Buffalo Grove quarterback Trey Cervantes in the second quarter.
“If you want to be the champ you have to beat the champ,” Buffalo Grove coach Mike DiMatteo said. “We’re a good team, but we didn’t play very well tonight. It was my fault. I didn’t prepare them well enough.”
With the loss to Rolling Meadows (6-1, 3-0), the Bison must now concentrate on reaching the playoffs with wins in their final two games against Prospect on Oct. 17 and Wheeling on Oct. 24.
“We have to win the two games,” DiMatteo said. “We don’t have enough playoff points to [reach the postseason] with five [wins].”
The added pop of Cervantes at quarterback may provide the stimulus necessary for a postseason appearance.
Out the last three weeks with a broken left arm, Cervantes spelled John Maddox with 7:31 left in the second quarter. He was 7-for-11 for 96 yards with an interception.
“He practiced very well all week,” DiMatteo said. “He gives us more options and we can use Maddox more on defense.”
Cervantes’ first play back was a 36-yard completion to Tommy McSorley that moved the ball From the Bison 38 to the Mustang 26. Buffalo Grove (4-3, 2-1) held a 10-7 lead at the time.
“They were blitzing on both sides and I saw [McSorley] open,” Cervantes said. “He made great catch.”
“It was incredible,” Maddox added, referring to McSorley’s fingertip grab with arms outstretched. The drive ended when the Bison lost the ball on downs.
Maddox, who carried the ball 12 times for 110 yards and was 2-for-4 passing for 35 yards and a touchdown, used two big plays to get the Bison off to a first-quarter lead. He ran 52 yards to the Bison 12 on the first play from scrimmage, leading to a 27-yard field goal by Dan Levato.
After Rolling Meadows responded with a touchdown for 7-3 lead, Maddox dashed 48 yards from his own 27 to the Mustangs 25 on the initial snap after the kickoff.
“It was a broken play,” Maddox said. “The line just opened things up.”
Three plays later, he found Jimmy Trieb in the end zone with a 26-yarder as the Bison regained a 10-7 lead. After that, the Mustangs scored 20 unanswered points.
Maddox said he is ready for the change with Cervantes calling the plays.
“I’ll be able to make more plays on defense,” he said.