Maine West Football Historical Victory
History was made again by the Maine West football team Friday night, as the Warriors defeated Benet at home and made it past the first round of playoffs for the first time in school history. They also set a new school record by securing their ninth win.
The Warriors now go on to play fifth-seeded Willowbrook this Saturday at 1 p.m. on the Willowbrook field in the town of Villa Park.
Coming in “hungry and ready to fight, under no circumstances were we going to let them have any chance,” senior kicker Daniel Dabrowski said. “We did exactly what we intended to do and showed them who we are.”
The Warriors came in with one goal: “to get another win and advance further into the playoffs,” junior quarterback Daniel Kentgen said.
Benet had eight rushing yards to start the first half, but the Warriors quickly found a smart solution “to win the battle at the line of scrimmage,” senior safety and wide receiver Ely Grimmer said. After David Jackson caught an interception, the team had a 48-yard touchdown pass from Kentgen, which was caught by Grimmer. From there on out, the crowd went wild as soon as the Warriors scored the first touchdown of the game. Kristian Garbicz kicked a field goal giving the Warriors a 7-0 lead for the first quarter.
After a strong start, Kentgen connected with Grimmer again for a 28-yard touchdown pass, followed by Garbicz kicking another field goal. The defense didn’t let Benet get past them as they sealed the scoreboard at 14-0 to end the second quarter.
As they came into the second half with a lead, the Warriors knew there was no backing down. Although Benet accomplished their first approach to make a touchdown against West, the Warriors still managed to keep gaining points as they scored three more field goals.
Starting the last quarter 17-6, the Warriors looked to make their final addition to the scoreboard. Jackson set up a field goal giving the team a 20-12 lead. That was then followed by two touchdowns by Benet but they missed making any extra points against the Warriors.
While Benet made a late fourth quarter surge to move the score to 20-18, the Warriors were determined to prevail. Their grit and energy came from knowing “that we had a chance to do something that had NEVER been done before, and our coaches let us know how rare those opportunities are in life. I think that helped us seize the moment,” Grimmer said. “We knew that they won against us last year and no one wanted that to happen again.”
Looking to set more records in this Saturday’s second-round match-up, the Warriors are going to “be confident against Willowbrook” and just be themselves by playing “like one of the top teams in the area,” Grimmer said.