Palatine has plenty of offensive weapons and they used them all in a dominating 42-14 victory over Mid-Suburban League rival Schaumburg in the second round of the Class 8A state playoffs at Chic Anderson Stadium in Palatine.
Alex Nawrot, John Serio and Cam Kuksa each scored two touchdowns for the Pirates, who threw the ball 38 times but had five of its six touchdowns come on running plays.
“We were thinking about passing the ball a lot and doing what we need to put points on the board,” said quarterback Ethan Olles, who was 22-for-38 for 202 yards and a TD pass. “We just executed our plays well and came out on top.”
Nawrot (nine catches, 90 yards, three carries, 31 yards) gave Palatine (10-1) a 7-0 lead after making a leaping catch in the end zone on a 14-yard pass from Olles with 3:36 to play in the first quarter.
Nawrot found the end zone again, this time on an 18-yard run after he lined up in the slot with 1:01 remaining in the first.
“Sometimes I run it but that’s not usually what I do,” Nawrot said. “But our offensive line did great blocking and there was a huge hole so I was untouched.”
Serio pushed the lead to 28-0 after he scored twice on runs from the wildcat formation in the second quarter.
Schaumburg (8-3) pulled within 28-7 after Sadarriss Patterson took a short pass from Stacey Smith Jr. and raced 31 yards to paydirt with just 41 seconds left in the second.
Palatine put the game away in the third quarter as Kuksa scored on a one-yard run and a 15-yard run.
The Saxons finished the scoring with a 13-yard run by backup quarterback Nick Anzelmo with 1:31 remaining in the fourth quarter.
“They come out and play hard and we just didn’t respond,” said Patterson, who had six carries for 23 yards.
“Throughout the whole game we still had confidence and we still believed we could come back and win. We just didn’t execute on the field.”
Palatine’s defense was clutch all day long, as they intercepted Smith three times and forced two fumbles. Brad Bauer had two of those picks.
“We needed to get our offense the ball,” Bauer said. “Our big thing was ‘Live another play.’ No big plays, make tackles. That’s what happened and then we got turnovers.”