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Four Downs: News and notes from Week 12 in high school football

Maine South wins another big one, legendary coach Rich Zinanni retires, the last Public League team is eliminated and a Lake Forest thriller

Maine South’s Cole Cichowski (5) reacts with Tommy Locascio (3) during the game against Warren.
Maine South’s Cole Cichowski (5) reacts with Tommy Locascio (3) during the game against Warren.
Kirsten Stickney/For the Sun-Times

Maine South, one of the most storied football programs in the state, somehow has flown under the radar a bit this season.

The Hawks have been highly ranked in the Super 25 since beating Warren on the road in early September. But a loss to Palatine two weeks later knocked Maine South out of the ranks of the elite, according to some observers.

Coach Dave Inserra’s squad passed its biggest test of the season in the quarterfinals, defeating Neuqua Valley 14-13 on the road.

Next up is a tough matchup at Marist in the semifinals, but the Hawks might be the best road team in the area this season.

Phillips eliminated

Richmond-Burton, winners of 32 consecutive games, beat Phillips 27-26 in the Class 4A quarterfinals Saturday.

The Rockets led 14-0 early, but Phillips had a big second quarter, led briefly and trailed 21-20 at halftime. The Wildcats fell short on a pair of two-point conversions in the game but had a chance to win it on the final play before Richmond-Burton picked off Tyler Turner’s pass at the goal line.

Turner connected with Avante Savage on two touchdown passes, including an 84-yarder.

Phillips was the last Public League team alive in the playoffs.

Zinanni’s run ends

Undefeated Wilmington topped Bishop McNamara 45-25 in a Class 2A quarterfinal Saturday. The Wildcats didn’t attempt a pass and ran for 427 yards and six touchdowns.

A tip of the cap to Fighting Irish coach Rich Zinanni, who retires after a tremendous career. Zinanni has coached Bishop McNamara since 1975. He won nearly 400 games and five state championships.

Lake Forest thriller

What a game on Saturday in the Class 6A quarterfinals.

Lake Forest drove 92 yards and scored with 14 seconds left to beat Prairie Ridge 22-21.

The winning touchdown was a pass from Leo Scheidler to Jake Milliman. Next up for the Scouts is another Fox Valley power, Cary-Grove, in the semifinals.