Even though its hopes for a second straight trip to the playoffs were dashed last week, Streamwood was still determined to finish the last two weeks of the season strong.
Playing for nothing more than pride on Friday night at Elgin High’s Memorial Field, the Sabres turned in arguably their best performance of the year with a 27-8 win over the Maroons in an Upstate Eight River matchup.
The Sabres (3-5) put together four drives of 60 or more yards behind a running attack that racked up 274 yards on the ground. Junior Lenard Brown led the way with 136 yards rushing on 28 carries, including a pair of touchdowns. Tyler Hendershot filled in admirably for injured starting quarterback Mason Polich, completing 8-of-11 passes for 127 yards and two touchdowns.
“It’s been frustrating for our senior group that made the playoffs last year,” said Streamwood coach Cal Cummins. “But they set their minds on finishing the season strong.
“We wanted to come out and establish the run and that is the most consistent running attack we’ve had this year. Lenard had a solid game for us and the re-emergence of Vince Williams at fullback made a significant difference. At 236 pounds he is a horse. Then Tyler came in and did a real nice job for us at quarterback. There’s a lot to be pleased with tonight.”
The Sabres marched 61 yards in 12 plays on their first drive of the game to get on the scoreboard first as Brown ran it in from two yards out. Later in the second quarter the Sabres went on a 79-yard drive on eight plays, ending in a 31-touchdown pass from Hendershot to Blake Holder to extend the lead to 14-0.
The Maroons (1-7, 0-5) got right back in the game just before the half as quarterback Ryan Sitter orchestrated a 75-yard drive, completing passes of 40 and 22 yards along the way before connecting with Dontrell Gaddy on a 10-yard touchdown toss. A two-point conversion pass from Sitter to Joseph DeBrocke pulled the Maroons to within 14-8 at the break.
However, it was all Streamwood and Brown in the second half. Brown gained 94 of his yards in the second half, including a 5-yard touchdown run on the opening possession to extend the Sabres lead to 20-8.
“The line gave me some good blocks and my fullback Vince Williams had a great game,” said Brown. “The holes opened up and I just hit them hard. We are trying hard to leave the seniors with a legacy.”
Hendershot added a 12-yard touchdown pass to Kushtrim Berisha in the fourth quarter.
Sitter passed for 92 yards and also led the Maroons in rushing with 28 yards. Ethan Henke had seven tackles and a sack for the Elgin defense.
“I’m proud of the kids’ effort,” said Elgin coach Dave Bierman. “They are good kids that are trying to do the right thing and working hard to try and win games.”