Bourbon, Stevenson hold off Libertyville rally
Stevenson's Danny Nowak runs upfield during a game against Libertyville on Friday. | Joe Cyganowski~For Sun-Times Media
Updated: September 8, 2012 12:56AM
LIBERTYVILLE — It was Parents’ Night in Libertyville on Friday, but even if all the proud parents swarmed the field en masse, the Wildcats probably wouldn’t have slowed down Stevenson quarterback Willie Bourbon in the first quarter.
The swift sophomore helped Stevenson to a 14-9 victory, guiding the Patriots to a score on their first possession by racking up yards on keepers until running back Danny Nowak punctuated the drive with a 16-yard scamper. Stevenson’s next possession was more of the same, as Bourbon deftly navigated the Libertyville defense with elusive rushes up the middle and short passes to Nowak and Alan Velev. Velev would punch it in from 2 yards out to make the score 14-0.
With the game slipping away early in the first quarter, Libertyville’s players dug their cleats in and stood their ground the rest of the way.
After nearly two quarters were played to a stalemate, Libertyville finally struck back with a short field goal after a 42-yard pass from quarterback Jack Deichl to receiver Justin Guarnaccio.
At last, the legion of parents in attendance had something to cheer for. Fueled by the fervor of the home crowd, the Wildcats mounted their comeback in the middle of the fourth quarter. Deichl and Guarnaccio connected on another long pass, this time a 47-yarder that set up an 8-yard touchdown reception by Conor Simpson on the following play.
“Our whole attitude is we’re never out of the fight,” Deichl said. “In our minds, there’s always hope we can score the ball.”
But it was a case of too little, too late.
Bourbon delivered a solid string of first downs as the clock ticked away. Libertyville would regain the ball with under a minute left, but a last-ditch miracle wasn’t meant to be.