JOLIET – Lincoln-Way East senior quarterback Brandon Bauer completed nine of his 10 first-half passes for 190 yards and two touchdowns in Saturday’s 70-0 SouthWest Suburban Blue victory over Joliet Central.
East running backs Liam Morrissey and Nigel Muhammad each scored a pair of first-half touchdowns. Jake Jasto had a 25-yard pick-six, and backup quarterback Jack O’Brien (3 for 3, 84 yards, two touchdowns) connected on a 54-yard TD pass to Luke Angel.
Reserve backs Kyle Werniak and Brody Bolsoni scored first-half touchdowns. And Bolsoni rushed for a game-high 85 yards, leading East to a 63-0 halftime lead. O’Brien hit Steve Barrett with a 26-yard pass to complete the scoring.
The first-team defense for the Griffins (6-2, 5-1) held Joliet to 16 yards rushing and minus-1 passing. Jasto, Sean Maloney and Ryan Reed had interceptions. Reed intercepted at the goal line in the third quarter and returned it 60 yards.
“It was great to see everyone play and contribute,” defensive lineman Ben Christensen said. “Our reserves work very hard every day in practice to help us get better, and it was awesome to see them reap some rewards.”
Bauer connected with Jayison McCorkle for a 54-yard scoring strike in the first quarter, when the Griffins went up, 35-0.
“I had a good day throwing,” Bauer said. “The line gave me tons of protection, our receivers caught my passes, and our running backs all contributed.”
A shining light for Joliet Central (0-8, 0-6) was Jamari Butler, who rushed for 81 yards on 13 carries. Much of his yardage came on the lone Steelmen scoring drive, which ended with Reed’s interception.
“At halftime when the score was 63-0, Coach [Brett] Boyter challenged us to step up and play with heart,” Butler said. “I took up the challenge and ran as hard as I could with hopes of getting us into the end zone. Although we were out-manned, we never stopped playing hard.”
“We must get to the point where we are in position to make the plays,” Boyter said. “Although Lincoln-Way East has more talent than we do, we still are not getting into position to make the plays. Jamari [Butler] had a great game. We have three goods backs with Jamari, Ernest Grant and Malek Harden. I feel we match up very well with our next opponent, Stagg [1-7, 0-6].”
For East, Friday means a visit from Sandburg (6-2, 5-1).
“This was a great tune-up for Sandburg,” East coach Rob Zvonar said. “We were able to play everyone, and everyone played to the best of their abilities. I am especially proud of the defensive reserves, who preserved the shutout.”