Libertyville forces 6 turnovers in victory
The Libertyville defense had something to prove after a tough loss in Week 1. Friday night, they showed the type of unit they could be by forcing six turnovers en route to a 42-17 victory against Evanston.
"It was a close game (week 1), but we knew our defense wasn't really there," Libertyville defensive back Chris Bennett said. "We knew we needed to show up today so that is what we did."
The Wildkits were coming off a victory where they scored 53 points a week ago, but this time the Wildcats held them to two touchdowns, all coming late in the second half.
"Our defense didn't play real well last week," Libertyville coach Mike Jones said. "They stepped and improved. ... They did a great job."
Bennett helped get the momentum going with an interception on Evanston's second drive, setting up a 1-yard touchdown by Charlie True. Luka Nikolich helped get the ball near the goal line by hauling in a 24-yard pass.
True finished the game with three touchdowns. Kristian Gavric added two more on 101 yards receiving.
"Coming into this game we were really hungry and we were really looking for that first win," Gavric said. "Especially in front of the home fans."
After Libertyville scored its first touchdown, Charlie Clark recovered a fumble on the ensuing kickoff to set up Gavric's first touchdown on a 13-yard pass from Quinn Schambow.
"It goes hand in hand," Gavric said. "Defense plays into offense and offense plays into defense. They get a turnover and that gives us momentum on offense. When we score a touchdown that gives us momentum on defense."
The defense did not let up in the second half with fumble recoveries from Luka Batinovic, Matt Drumke and Scott Criel, while Boyd Hunt added an interception.
After Drumke's recovery, Rocco LaVista scored on an 87-yard run.
After falling behind 35-3, Evanston battled back scoring a pair of touchdowns. Groff had a scoring run of seven yards and a touchdown throw to Adrian Martinez-Jones.
"Give Libertyville credit," Evanston coach Mike Burzawa said. "We were not able to get the run game going. That's where it starts for us. They have a physical front 7. But I am proud our kids did not quit. It was 35-3 and we came back and battled, but we need a sense of urgency when we come out."