GBS loss halts football team’s impressive streak

Following tough 24-7 loss, playoff odds take major hit for 3-4 Trevians despite three game win streak

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Kuzniar

Football team prepares for homecoming game against GBS

Starting the season with three losses, often as blowouts, New Trier football appeared to be finished, showing flaws pretty much everywhere. However, since then the team has won three of four, putting them into playoff contention. Starting defensive end Liam Fitzgerald has been huge in the defense’s improvement. 

 

“We haven’t actually done anything different since the start of the season,” says Fitzgerald. “It’s a lot about the many juniors on the team being more comfortable, since those were the first varsity starts for a lot of them.”

 

Despite the promising three week stretch, the team’s offense was dominated by a good GBS defensive this Friday. Early on, the Trevs couldn’t get anything going, trailing 17-0 going into the half. As was the case at the start of the season, their offense was no match for a strong defense, who managed to keep Trevian drives short and unproductive.

 

“Our offense has to be a little more efficient,” says Fitzgerald. “We’re putting more trust in our quarterback and we’re going to be passing the ball a lot more often, so I think that is going to help.”

Our offense has to be a little more efficient. We’re putting more trust in our quarterback and we’re going to be passing the ball a lot more often, so I think that is going to help.”

— Liam Fitzgerald

After giving up over 30 points each of the first three weeks, the defense has stepped it up in a huge way. Going into Friday’s matchup against GBS, they hadn’t given up over 17 points in nearly a month, led especially by impressive play from defensive backs. This includes top wide receiver and cornerback Miles Cremascoli, who’s recent addition to the defense has made an impact. 

 

“We’ve switched around a lot for our defense,” says Cremascoli. “I would definitely say going from that Stevenson game and giving up big throws to now not allowing many passing yards has been great.”

 

Unfortunately for the homecoming game against GBS, it was the run game early on that doomed the Trevians. Playing against a quarterback who is more dangerous on the ground than through the air, the defensive line and linebackers would be crucial in containing the GBS offense, but early on had trouble getting stops.

Cremascoli and Fitzgerald both noted how important it was to start off strong defensively, keeping the ball in the hands of New Trier’s offense and gaining momentum early. However, despite focusing on it through film throughout the week, the defense was unable to limit GBS rushes early in the game, setting the tone for the entire night.

 

Offensively, despite scoring only seven last week by a Trey Meyers touchdown catch, things have gotten much better after scoring only a combined 21 points through the first three weeks of the season. This starts with sophomore quarterback Patrick Heneghan, who’s connection with Cremascoli has already led to multiple 70+ yard touchdown passes.

 

“Whether it was a showcase, football camp, just training in the morning, we were always together,” says Heneghan. “And really because of that, I have trust that Miles will go up and get that ball and I’m willing to bet he has the same trust in me.”

 

To make the playoffs, New Trier will have to win their final two games, starting off next week against an unimpressive Niles West team. Following that, the Trevs will head to Main South, facing the 23rd ranked team in the state, obviously a huge challenge. While playoff hope isn’t super high, to be in this position is an accomplishment for the team as a whole.

 

“Every player has gotten better each week, and they’re figuring out how they can be the best player they can be,” says Heneghan. “Obviously, nobody was satisfied starting 0-3, and everyone has stepped it up for three weeks, which we have to continue.”