Three to four minutes is enough time for a vehicle to undergo an emission test or a batter to grind out an at-bat and earn a walk. It also is enough time for a football game to get away from a team.
In that stretch of time Friday, the Evanston Wildkits saw a 7-7 tie with defending Class 6A state champion Crete-Monee turn into a 27-7 halftime deficit. It led to Evanston’s eventual 42-15 loss on the road.
The Wildkits took the lead on the opening drive when Chris Little hit Sam Bordo with a 36-yard touchdown pass. Crete-Monee scored 27 unanswered points to close out the first half. In that stretch the Warriors scored two touchdowns on offense along with a defensive touchdown off a Wildkits fumble.
“In times like that, we have to stick together as a team and limit the mistakes on offense and defense,” Evanston senior linebacker Zach Smith said.
Crete-Monee might have swelled its lead in a matter of minutes, but it was its ability to stop Evanston’s running attack the entire game that limited what the Wildkits could do on offense and prevented the defense from having time to rest. Evanston finished with 39 rushing yards.
“They (Crete-Monee) had some very talented, strong Division I players up front and we knew we were going to be tested,” Wildkits coach Mike Burzawa said. “Our starting center was out and they outweighed us by 100 pounds across the line, and at points it showed.”
With a 1-1 record going into tonight’s road game against Highland Park, the nonconference schedule challenged the Wildkits before entering conference play.
“We know we played a tough nonconference schedule,” Burzawa said. “But we did it to become a better team, and give us an idea of where we need to be.”
Only time will tell if the experience from last week’s loss will provide the Wildkits with lessons for the entirety of the season. One thing is for sure: They know a game can slip away in a matter of minutes.