NORTHFIELD, Ill -- Storming back from a ten-point halftime deficit, three-time defending Class 8A state champion Maine South posted 26 unanswered points to spoil New Trier’s homecoming, 40-24.
Junior quarterback Matt Alviti accounted for all but one of Maine South's six touchdowns, scoring the team's first six points on a 3-yard keeper in the opening quarter. Alviti (14-26, 195-yards) then connected with four different receivers in the second half on touchdown strikes of 6, 13, 23 and 27 yards.
"Our defense won that game for us by giving us great field position throughout the second half," Alviti said after the victory. "Going back to Loyola last year, we were kind of in the same situation, but no [we never thought we were out of it]. We never stopped believing. We came out and dug down deep in the second half and we got it done."
Having last defeated Maine South in 2000, New Trier came out with a chip on its shoulder and forced a three-and-out on the Hawks' opening drive. On the ensuing possession, the Trevians capped off a five-play, 51-yard drive on a Jack Nykaza 1-yard TD run to open the scoring.
After Alviti's first TD, the Trevians climbed back on top thanks to a 27-yard field goal from Grant Amick in the second quarter.
Back came the Hawks (5-0, 1-0) as Paul Preston, who ran the ball 19 times for 133 yards, found the end zone on a 7-yard option pitch with 2:39 remaining in the first half, pulling Maine South within 17-14. On New Trier's next play from scrimmage, however, junior Daniel Olaniyan scampered 73-yards up the middle of the Maine South defense for what turned out to be New Trier's final points of the evening.
Though the second half sided entirely with the Hawks, Olaniyan believes Friday's loss will still propel the Trevians (3-2, 0-1) forward.
"No one was hanging their head," said Olaniyan, who finished with 17 carries for 165 yards. "Of course it was a disappointing loss because it was homecoming but we as a ball club know we can still accomplish a lot this season."
Following the come-from-behind win, Maine South head coach, Dave Inserra, preached emotion to his team, which they clearly did not show in the opening 24 minutes of the contest.
"They're not emotional. They're not cocky, but they're not emotional enough at times," said Inserra. "We didn't have it in the first half. At halftime, we were sitting in a funk, but we said it wasn't execution. It was about playing with enthusiasm, passion and tenacity for the game and I think [our guys] showed that in the second half. That was the difference."
Player of the game: Maine South Jr. QB, Matt Alviti: 14-of-26 passing for 195 yards and 4 TDs / 8 carries for 36 yards and 1 TD.
Stat of the game: After dominating the first half, New Trier was held to just two first downs over the final 24 minutes of the game.
It was over when: Alviti found senior tight end Tyler Fahey on a 27-yard touchdown pass with 2:07 left in the fourth quarter.
Quote of the night: "This is awesome, especially because it was New Trier. This has become such a big rivalry so to come out here and beat them on their homecoming, man, I wouldn't want it any other way." - Maine South QB Matt Alviti.