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Seniors lead Plainfield East past Romeoville

PLAINFIELD – While Southwest Prairie adversaries Plainfield East and Romeoville entered Week 8 out of the playoff picture, the Bengals turned to their seniors for motivation to play hard.

East coach Mike Romeli said his team’s game plan was to rotate running backs and put players into position to succeed. With that in mind, the Bengals succeeded Friday night, beating the Spartans, 47-19, on senior night.

“This group of seniors has won a lot of games, and they deserve this,” Romeli said. “We fought hard every week, but we didn’t have some things go our way. We just kept talking about progressing and playing our best game, and tonight we played well.”

As the Bengals’ offense took the field for their opening drive, senior quarterback Matt Mazurkiewicz didn’t waste time getting his team on the scoreboard. He targeted senior tight end Dylan Koch for a 35-yard touchdown.

On the subsequent drive, Mazurkiewicz hit senior wide receiver Jalen Hutt for a 9-yard touchdown to make it 12-0 for East (3-5, 3-3).

“He really has progressed throughout the year,” Romeli said of Mazurkiewicz, who went 13 of 20 for 163 yards. “From Week 1 to Week 8, he’s a different guy.”

Romeoville (1-7, 1-5) answered with a drive capped by Jordan Nettles, who scored on a 16-yard run to make it 12-7. On the Bengals’ ensuing possession, however, running back DJ Donofrio (nine carries, 106 yards) scored on a 45-yard run to put East on top, 19-7.

“The offensive line blocked awesome tonight,” Donofrio said. “I was just reading and making my cuts.”

After a safety made it 21-7, the Bengals converted their next possession into a 1-yard touchdown run by senior running back Troy Mayon for a 28-7 lead entering halftime.

East continued its dominance in the second half as Donofrio and Hutt found the end zone again to make it 41-7.

Romeoville scored on a 36-yard run by Tyree Allen (three carries, 70 yards) and a 73-yard pass from Anthony Kitchens (8 of 18, 194 yards) to Jordan Nettles (four receptions, 110 yards).

A 14-yard touchdown pass from Matt Pratscher to Tremaine Hoover sealed the victory for the Bengals.

“They have some good players,” Romeoville coach Oliver Gibson said. “They have a good scheme, and they execute. I credit their coach managing the game and keeping us at bay.”

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