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Chicago Sun-Times
Chicago Sun-Times
Michael O'Brien

Four Downs: News and notes from Week 1 in high school football

Brother Rice’s Christian Pierce (1) takes down Maine South’s Constantine Coines (14). (Kirsten Stickney/For the Sun-Times)

The fans in Park Ridge were roaring late Friday night. 

Maine South trailed Brother Rice by just three points. The host Hawks had the ball and just enough time to travel down the field and win the game or at least get in field goal position for talented kicker Ethan Stumpf.

The Crusaders’ stout defense shut down those dreams. 

Starting quarterback Jack DeFillipis was injured in the first half, which is part of the reason the Hawks’ offense struggled in the 10-7 loss. But backup Constantine Coines showed some flashes of potential when he stepped in. The junior ran for 97 yards, including a 24-yard touchdown. 

That’s something for Maine South to build on as it continues a difficult early stretch. The Hawks are at Warren on Thursday and host Palatine Week 3. 

“[Coines] won the game for us against Evanston last year,” Inserra said. “He came in and sparked us. Then he started against New Trier and was just okay. The offensive line has to get much better to make things easier for him.”

A sparkling debut

York returned several key players from last season’s excellent team, but the big question was at quarterback. Could Sean Winton actually replace Matt Vezza? 

Dukes coach Mike Fitzgerald was confident in the preseason, saying that Winton would have started for most teams last season. But Vezza just seemed to play with some special magic in York’s biggest games last year. 

Winton answered the questions immediately, throwing three touchdown passes in the Dukes’ 35-17 win against Glenbrook South, an up-and-coming program, on Friday. 

Winton was 13-for-17 passing for 277 yards. An impressive start to the season that shows York will be a major factor in Class 8A. 

Another quarterback to watch

St. Charles North quarterback Ethan Plumb probably isn’t quite as well known as he should be around the area. 

Plumb was the first freshman to start at QB in school history. He’s a junior now and has matured into a significant game-changer. The 6-3, 203-pounder has offers from Iowa State and Purdue. 

Friday against Palatine Plumb led the game-winning drive in the final five minutes and was 34-for-45 passing for 332 yards and three touchdowns. 

The North Stars vaulted up to No. 6 after the win and will travel to Crete-Monee in Week 2. 

Public League statement?

Things didn’t go very well for Kenwood against Lincoln-Way East on Saturday at Gately, but Public League football picked up a major boost Friday night as Morgan Park dominated Richards in a 42-0 road win.

The Mustangs face a massive test on Friday when they travel to top-ranked Mount Carmel. Morgan Park returned 18 starters from last season’s team, but it was a new name that made headlines on Friday. 

Junior running back Terrance Gurley had 18 carries for 157 yards in his first varsity game at running back. 

Morgan Park is heading to Mount Carmel on Friday with every intention of pulling off a massive upset. Realistically, just staying competitive against the Caravan would make a major statement. 

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