HOFFMAN ESTATES – Of the 12-game lineup in Friday night’s opening round of crossover competition between the member schools of the Central Suburban League and the Mid-Suburban League, only one had a matchup featuring 2-0 teams against one another.
That took place on the campus of Conant High School as the host Cougars entertained Glenbrook North.
By the time it was all said and done, it turned out to be Conant doing all the entertaining to the Feutz Field home crowd. The Cougars displayed a dazzling and dominating display on both sides of the ball in besting the visitors from Northbrook 42-3 to move to 3-0 - their first such start since 2019.
“I thought they just played extremely fast and physical from the get-go,” Conant coach Bryan Stortz said. “It’s something that we’ve been talking about and harping on that teams that play fast and physical have a better chance of winning football games and I thought our team did a really good job of doing that tonight.”
The Cougars established control of the contest from their opening possession as junior running back Cooper Hanson found pay dirt on their fifth play from scrimmage on a 59-yard jaunt that put them ahead to stay 7-0 less than 3 minutes in.
A 55-yard Connor Minogue dash set up the first of senior Dominic Minnini’s two TD runs (3 yards) giving the home team a 14-0 cushion on its second offensive series.
After a 21-yard Griffin Yoss field goal gave the Spartans (2-1) their only points of the night in the early going of the second, Conant went on a 10-play, 63-yard drive that Minnini (22 carries, 138 yards) wrapped up with a 7-yard scoring jaunt to make it 21-3 at the break.
Half number two saw T.J. Ramsey ramble for two touchdown runs in the third (28 and 11 yards) that came as a result of a pair of interceptions by Lennon Johnson and Hanson that made it 35-3 at the end of the third.
Chris Heishman’s 1-yard run with 4:49 left closed out the scoring for the Cougars who netted 285 yards on the ground behind a front line of Jonathan Gorski, Harley Stary, Nicholas Mahnke, Jash Patel and Ricardo Rodriguez in the first three quarters, and Thomas Olszewski, Charles Kawalek and Robert Jarmulkowicz joining Mahnke and Rodriguez in the final frame.
Mahnke, a 6-2, 250-pound senior center, cited his team’s commitment to the ground game as its bedrock to success after having joined his teammates racing over to the Cougars student section for a postgame celebration.
“We knew what we were going to do. Run all the time, down the middle every play,” Mahnke said. “That’s what we do. We don’t run outside unless we need to (and) we don’t pass a lot unless we have to. It was just awesome. It feels really good.”