SKOKIE — The Maine South football team won its fifth game in a row Friday to become playoff eligible.
But the 35-20 win over Niles West came with some losses.
Senior starters Jack Perez and Clay Burdelik both left the game with injuries. Perez, an inside linebacker, fractured his right wrist during a kickoff in the first quarter. Burdelik, a running back, then went down in the second half with a separated left shoulder, the second such injury he’s suffered this season.
Maine South coach Dave Inserra said Saturday he is unsure of each player’s status.
“Two costly injuries there,” he said. “We hope to get them both back around playoff time.”
Perez and Burdelik now join senior quarterback Alec Basso as recent additions to the injury report. Basso hurt his right (throwing) shoulder during the team’s 42-17 win over New Trier on Oct. 4. Basso was being used by the Hawks to complement sophomore starter Brian Collis, and Inserra said it’s unclear when Basso might be available again.
Perez said the Hawks (5-2 overall, 3-0 CSL South) have good players to plug in while some of the starters try and get healthy.
“Injuries happen,” said the 6-foot-1, 225-pounder, who is the younger brother of former Maine South standout Matt Perez. “We definitely have the depth to fill in for me. I am not worried about guys stepping up.
“But I will do everything I can to get back on the field.”
On Friday, Inserra moved senior outside linebacker Vinny Labus to Perez’s position. Senior Zach McCarthy came off the sideline to take the place of Labus.
“He’s played here and there, but he can do some nice things,” Inserra said of McCarthy, who saw most of his action during the first two weeks of the season when the Hawks played state powers Montini and Wheaton Warrenville South. “He got a lot of time in this summer. He knows what to do.”
Maine South received some good news when Inserra said Saturday that senior receiver Tony Buenrostro is scheduled to play this week against Evanston (5-2, 2-1).
“We have to be smart and get by Evanston and Waukegan and get ready for the playoffs,” Inserra said. “When we put a full product on the field, we are a pretty darn good team.”