Matt Marusich, Barrington’s late magic dispatches No. 5 Warren

Barrington’s Dillon Fitzpatrick runs for his second touchdown in the first quarter against Warren at Barrington High School Friday, August 25, 2023.

BARRINGTON – After falling to Warren in three straight opening games, the Barrington football team found the magic touch on Friday night on its home field.

On third-and-10 from the 21-yard line, senior Matt Marusich caught a sideline pass from junior Nick Peipert and then bounced off a would-be tackler and made it into the end zone for the final score in Barrington’s wild 40-33 victory over the No. 5 ranked team in Class 8A.

Senior Will Nazha’s interception with 2 seconds left sealed the Broncos’ dramatic win.

The game was tied at 26-26 and 33-33 before the home team sealed it with Marusich’s third TD reception of the game. He also blocked a punt and an extra point.

Barrington scored first when Will Nazha raced 71 yards up the middle for a 6-0 lead (the extra point attempt was no good) with 6:19 left in the opening quarter.

Moments later, Travis Soto’s interception gave Barrington the ball at the Warren 36-yard line.

On the Broncos’ next play, Dillon Fitzpatrick took a shotgun snap and raced up all the way to the end zone. Senior Colby Parkinson’s extra point made it 13-0 with 5:03 left.

Barrington recovered two fumbles in Warren territory and Warren recovered one in the final 7 minutes of the first quarter but neither team put points on the board.

After blocking a 32-yard field goal attempt, Warren marched 83 yards for its first TD, a 3-yard run up the middle by Donovan McNeal, who also had a 37-yard run on the eight-play drive.

The Warren defense stopped Barrington on fourth down at the Blue Devils’ 28. The visitors needed just a play to score on a 72-yard run by Aaron Stewart off left end for a 14-13 lead with 6:49 left in the half.

Barrington answered with two touchdowns in the final 6:18 of the first half. Calvin Jackson’s 70-yard run and Peipert’s 17-yard pass to Marusich in the back of the end zone with 2:29 gave the Broncos a 26-14 lead at intermission.

Marusich set up the TD when he blocked a punt to give Barrington possession at the Warren 14.

Warren began the second half with an 82-yard TD drive, capped by McNeal’s 2-yard surge up the middle before Marusich blocked the extra point making it 26-20.

McNeal’s 46-yard TD scamper tied the game at 26-26 with 10:11 left.

Marusich’s 36-yard TD catch from Peipert put the Broncos ahead 33-26 with 7:48 left in the final quarter.

Warren tied it at 33 when a 74-yard nine-play drive ended with McNeal’s fourth TD of the game, a 2-yard run with 3:10 left.

Barrington then started its winning drive from its own 34-yard line, including a 33-yard catch to Marusich three plays before his game-winner.