Palatine continued its march in the state playoffs Saturday, ripping conference-rival Schaumburg 42-14 in the second round of the Class 8A playoffs, while on their home turf at Palatine High School.
“We had great field position in the first half and that helped,” Palatine coach Tyler Donnelly said. “And I thought our defense played well again for us.”
Palatine (10-1), won its 10th game of the season for the first time since 1997 by taking advantage of five Schaumburg turnovers, to beat the Saxons for the second time in the last three weeks.
“I am so glad we are playing someone new,” said Donnelly, whose team ripped Schaumburg 51-18 in the last game of the regular season to win the Mid Suburban West title.
“I can’t stand it. I don’t wish it on anyone. I know a lot of teams have to do it. These are kids and it is hard to get up for a team that you played a couple weeks ago and beat pretty good,” Donnelly said.
If Palatine had a tough time getting up for this game, they didn’t show it. It was almost a rerun from their first meeting as the Pirates rolled to a 28-0 lead in the first half, thanks to a fumble recovery and interception by Luke Rago, and a pair of interceptions by Brad Bauer.
“We knew we had to come out strong in the beginning,” Rago said. “Once we got the ball turned over, we knew our offense would keep on going from there.”
“It was big for us to get those turnovers,” Bauer said. “We wanted to get the offense the ball.”
The first two turnovers led to touchdowns by Alex Nawrot, who scored on an 18-yard pass from Ethan Olles (23-of-29, 211 yards) on a 17-yard run.
“I am just trying to make plays for the team,” said Nawrot, who had nine catches for 91 yards. “Ethan threw a great ball in the back of the end zone and I went up and got it."
I don’t usually run the ball, but when I did, the offensive line did a great job for me, Nawrot said.
Then John Serio got into the act for the Pirates after two more Schaumburg turnovers gave the Pirates a short field. Serio had touchdown runs of two and six yards, giving the large Palatine crowd a sense of déjà vu.
“It went good out there again today,” Serio said. “The offensive line was blocking well for me. I saw a hole and I took it.”
After Schaumburg got on the bard just before the half to make it 28-7, Cam Kuksa got in as well. Kuksa scored on a one-yard run, and then again early in the fourth quarter as the rout was on.
“It is always good to score,” Kuksa said. “We are playing well as a team right now.”
The Pirates advance to the quarterfinals for the first time since 2010, where they will meet Loyola Academy on Saturday, November 10 at noon in Wilmette. The Ramblers are the same team that eliminated Palatine in 2010.
Palatine 42, Schaumburg 14
Schaumburg 0 7 0 7 14
Palatine 14 14 7 7 42
Palatine- Nawrot, 18 pass from Olles (Hilmer kick).
Palatine- Nawrot, 17 run (Hilmer kick).
Palatine- Serio, 2 run (Hilmer kick).
Palatine- Serio, 6 run (Hilmer kick).
Schaumburg- Patterson, 31 pass from Smith (Wittkamp kick).
Palatine- Kuksa, 1 run (Hilmer kick).
Palatine- Kuksa, 15 run (Hilmer kick).
Schaumburg- Anzelmo, 13 run (Wittkamp kick).
First Downs 10 23
Yards Rushing 71 100
Yards Passing 211 211
Total Yards 282 311
Passes (comp-att-int) 14-28-3 23-39-0
Punts 4-30.5 3-39
Fumbles-Lost 4-2 0-0
Penalties-Yards 7-60 6-50
Rushing: Sch: Smith 12-34, Patterson 5-21, Reyes 1-11, Skrzypek 1-5, Anzelmo 2-0. Pal: Olles 8-32, Nawrot 3-31, Kuksa 4-17, Serio 3-10, Kelly 2-8, Allen 2-9, Stein 1-4, Riddle 1-(minus3), Pittman 3-(minus 3), Gronwick 1-(minus5)
Passing: Sch: Smith 7-14-98-3, Anzelmo 7-14-113-0. Pal: Olles 23-39-211-0
Receiving: Baker 2-53, Reyes 3-33, Smith 2-32, Patterson 1-31, Richard 2-28, Saragaglia 2-20, Skrzypek 1-8, Gruszka 1-6. Pal: Nawrot 9-91, Kuksa 7-56, Theis 3-37, Gronwick 2-18, Riddle 1-5, Bobbit 1-4.
Punting: Sch: Anzelmo 4-122-30.5. Pal: Serio 3-117-39
Interceptions: Pal: Bauer 2, Rago