Barrington defense shines again in rout of Wheeling

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BARRINGTON —There’s no escaping the classroom for Barrington senior middle linebacker Jake Coon.

Whether it’s in school or on the football field, Coon loves being tested.

“He’s a great student of the game. A coach on the field,” Barrington defensive coach Bill Helzer said. “Jake makes sure the guys are lined up right. He understands as the game evolves what the other team is trying to do.”

Coon and the No. 17 Broncos (4-0) dismantled Wheeling (2-2)49-0 on Friday night.

Helzer doesn’t allow Coon to rest on his laurels, testing his problem-solving abilities before each of Barrington’s games.

“Coach Helzer always tries to throw a curveball [at practice] to keep me on my toes and test me,” Coon said. “I love it.”

“Our defense has really performed at a high level the first four weeks of the season,” coach Joe Sanchez said. “Jake is a captain for a reason.He’s an extension of all the work we do.”

Coon, who said he is sending out film to Ivy League schools next week, is hoping for a chance to play college football, with Davidson (I-AA) already interested. But football isn’t just cerebral for Coon, who is 6-foot-1 and 220 pounds. He hits hard while covering the field from sideline to sideline.

“He’s a tremendous athlete,” Sanchez said. “A three-year starter in football and baseball. That’s not an easy thing to do.”

Coon’s teammates look to him for guidance on the field.

“He’s the leader of our defense,” linebacker Mark Bornhofen said. “He knows everything about the game.”

Coon, Bornhofen, outside linebacker Travis Cysewski and defensive linemen David Danhauer and Cooper Van Kampen have helped the Broncos hold the opposition to 28 total points through four games this season, including two shutouts. Wheeling managed only 171 yards and never reached the red zone.

While the defense has been stingy, the Broncos’ offense has been just as dominant. Barrington has scored 159 points on the season (39.7 per game).On Friday, junior quarterback Johnny Davidson threw three touchdown passes, including two to Scotty Miller (13 yards and 40 yards), and a 3-yard connection with Michael Nannini. Davidson completed 9-of-12 passes for 174 yards. Miller added a 97-yard kick return touchdown to open the second half and give the Broncos a 42-0 lead.

Barrington’s other scores came on a 6-yard run by JT Henderson and a 3-yard burst into the end zone by Dumaso Mkwananzi.

Wheeling was led by linebacker Dylan Draka, who recovered a fumble and had nine tackles.

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