Palatine cruises to 50-7 win over Buffalo Grove
Falling behind host Buffalo Grove 7-0 just 4:30 into this Mid-Suburban League crossover game was an early wake-up call for the Palatine football team.
The Pirates answered the bell as they scored 24 unanswered points the remainder of the first half to take a 24-7 lead into halftime over the Bison.
From there, Palatine (2-0) never looked back as it wound up scoring 50 unanswered points overall to cruise to a lopsided 50-7 victory over Buffalo Grove (0-2).
Buffalo Grove's Vukasin Dejkovic recovered a fumble and the Bison took over at the Palatine 7-yard-line on the Pirates' first possession.
Then Buffalo Grove's Michael Cervantes swept left for a 7-yard TD run before Jake Rubino's extra point put the Bison ahead 7-0 early on.
Palatine cut the lead to 7-3 on a 23-yard field goal by Connor May before Pirates' quarterback Grant Dersnah scored on an 8-yard TD run for a 10-7 lead.
While Buffalo Grove's offense kept stalling, Palatine struck again when Dersnah (71 yards on 10 carries) hit Dominick Ball with a screen pass for a 16-yard touchdown play and a 17-7 lead.
A huge breakdown in the Bison defense led to a 60-yard TD pass from Dersnah (10-for-14, 173 yards passing) to Thomas Coroneos, who was wide open on the left sideline on a first-and-10 play to take a 24-7 lead 1:20 before the intermission.
Palatine's Nate Branch scored on an 8-yard run up the middle for a 31-7 lead before teammate T.J. Lucket (99 yards on 9 rushes) bolted 84 yards down the right sideline for a commanding 38-7 lead.
"We handled adversity early when we went down 7-0 on a turnover, and from there we stepped up, played well on both sides of the ball and never looked back," said Palatine coach Corey Olson. "He (Dersnah) ran the ball well, he threw it well, and that's what we would expect from a three-year starter. We're starting to really see him develop as a complete player so it's awesome."
Branch scored his second TD on a 1-yard run for a 44-7 lead before teammate Tommy Elter added a 1-yard TD run with 3:46 to play to account for the final score.
Ball wound up with 51 yards on 8 attempts while Cervantes had 48 yards on 11 carries. Buffalo Grove quarterback Payton Diaz was 11-for-23 passing for 52 yards. The inexperienced Bison lost 37 seniors to graduation last year.
"The defense kept getting stops and we just kept getting back on offense and scoring again," said Dersnah. "Starting 2-0 is huge especially in the tough conference we're in, and it's big going into the next couple of games."