Connor McNamara accounts for 7 TDs in Vernon Hills victory

SHARE Connor McNamara accounts for 7 TDs in Vernon Hills victory

Stevenson coach Bill McNamara may have the best quarterback in this part of the state this year in Patriot senior Willie Bourbon.

The coach also might have the best quarterback in the area next year — just not on his Stevenson team.

In his house.

Coach McNamara’s son, Connor McNamara, is a junior at Vernon Hills High, and he assumed varsity quarterback duties midway through last season due to a teammate’s injury.

Now, it looks as if Connor is poised to rewrite his school’s record book if, in fact, he didn’t do that already in Friday’s 64-28 North Suburban Conference Prairie Division victory over visiting North Chicago.

In two quarters plus 48 seconds against the Warhawks (0-3), McNamara ran for six touchdowns and passed for one as the Cougars improved to 2-1 overall and 1-0 in the division.

The QB scored on a 39-yard run on the game’s second play, and then added three 13-, three- and three one-yard scores — the last score coming with 48 seconds gone in the third quarter.

His TD pass was a 31-yarder To Kiwanne Durant (4 catches for 82 yards) that made it 27-6 early in the second period.

Ironically, it was one of Vernon Hills’ other touchdowns — a four-yard run by Robby Nardini with 8:42 left in the third quarter that made it 57-14 and kicked the game into running-clock mode — that was also significant.

Vernon Hills coach Bill Bellecomo has two senior girl soccer players/kickers on the roster, and the team did everything it could to get both to make an extra point. Kaitlin Grammins made three, and Maddie Guillaume got her first after Nardini’s TD. Many other PAT attempts were thwarted by poor snaps on a cold, rainy night.

Nothing, however, could stop McNamara, who runs the offense out of the shotgun and often has five wideouts on the field.

“He started that last week, and he’s just continued it,” said Bellecomo of his QB’s great play. “He’s running the ball nice and throwing it nice. It’s nice to have him at the position.”

The QB himself knows that his scores were made possible by the play of the guys blocking up front.

“It kind of reminded me of last week (a 41-6 win over Elgin Larkin),” McNamara said. “We got up early. The O-line played well. I have to give the big boys some love.”

McNamara said he benefitted from logging time at the position last year. “That year makes a big difference,” he said. “I’m starting to understand the offense more and seeing how it all fits together, and it helps a lot.”

On the North Chicago side, the offense was the best it’s been all season.

North Chicago got two touchdowns from quarterback Jamero Shelton (12 carries, 92 yards) in the first half (runs of 15 and 45 yards), and two more from sophomore Joshua Turner (8 carries, 50 yards) in the second half (runs of nine and 14 yards).

The Warhawks had 268 yards on 37 rushes.

“We had some young guys who played hard and did some nice things for us,” North Chicago coach Johnny Johnson said. “We’re going to find a way to fit them in. Joshua Turner came in and ran the ball well. Taykes McKnight (QB) came in and ran the ball. We’re just doing whatever we can to find a winning combination.”

North Chicago will host Grant next Friday night.

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