KENOSHA, Wis. — Stevenson took a trip north on Friday night to neighboring Wisconsin seeking a memorable start to its season.
Instead, Kenosha Indian Trail forced seven second-half turnovers to upend the No. 2 Patriots 15-14.
“Give Indian Trail credit, they made some plays which caused some turnovers, but I don’t ever remember seeing a team turn the ball over seven times in a half like we did,” Stevenson coach Bill McNamara said.
“We didn’t execute very well offensively, and that’s the bottom line.”
Trailing 14-6, the Hawks got going when Chris Foster picked off a Willie Bourbon pass on the third play of the second half.
On Stevenson’s next possession, Bourbon (9-for-23 passing, 166 yards, three interceptions) intentionally grounded a pass while in his own end zone, that resulted in a safety to help Indian Trail (2-0) cut the lead to 14-8.
Stevenson starting center Henry Sise left the game shortly after with a sever leg injury, and on the next play Indian Trail’s Jeromy Jorgensen recovered a poor shot-gun snap for the Patriots’ second turnover of the quarter.
Stevenson’s defense caused pair of Indian Trail quarterback Zach Gianakos interceptions in the quarter, but a fumble recovery of a poor Stevenson snap late in the third quarter led to the game-winning touchdown.
Gianakos (17 carries, 78 yards) converted a 17-yard touchdown run with 1:14 left in the third quarter to put Indian Trail ahead for good at 15-14.
“Nobody really knows who we are in Wisconsin, and they sure don’t know who we are in Illinois, but I think we showed some people that we have a pretty good football team here,” Indian Trail defensive end Michael Roach said.
“I knew if our defensive secondary could pressure [Stevenson’s] receivers that we could put some pressure on [Bourbon],” Roach said. “That was our game-plan and it worked.”
Stevenson turned the ball over on each of its next four possessions – including an interception by Izaak Simar with 2:37 remaining in the game — to seal the win.
Stevenson’s best offensive execution in the contest came on its first play from scrimmage when Bourbon hooked up with Michigan State recruit Matt Morrissey on 38-yard pass completion.
One play later, Tim Vestuto scored on a two-yard run for a 7-0 lead.
Indian Trail responded with a 15-play, 80-yard scoring drive capped by Gianakos’ two-yard scoring run. A missed extra point kick kept the Patriots in front 7-6.
Stevenson turned a muffed Hawks punt reception midway through the second quarter into points with a short 26-yard scoring drive to build a 14-6 lead that it couldn’t hold.