The Evanstonian

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Every game a must-win to earn a playoff berth

Senior+quarterback+Drew+Dawkins+throws+the+ball+downfield.
Senior quarterback Drew Dawkins throws the ball downfield.

Senior quarterback Drew Dawkins throws the ball downfield.

Senior quarterback Drew Dawkins throws the ball downfield.

Eli Hartman-Seeskin, Sports Editor

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Although Evanston football beat Glenbrook South last year, we shouldn’t ease up our game.

After struggling through a difficult middle patch of the season, coach Mike Burzawa knows that the team needs to bring their best tonight.

“They had a new coach last year, their defensive coordinator took over and they had a rough first year, but they are off to a great start,” Burzawa said. “Glenbrook South is back to the team that we are accustomed to seeing for many years: a physical, hard nosed football team. It should be a good challenge for us.”

So far this season, Glenbrook South has only one loss, compared to Evanston’s three. While last season the homecoming environment could not save GBS from Evanston’s rushing attack, the team will need to utilize their own home field advantage tonight.

“We want to create a great atmosphere at home for homecoming, we get some alumni who come back and it’s enjoyable for the school, for the student body,” Burzawa said. “We know that the show is Friday night at 7:30, we have to bring our A-game to the table.”

The team’s player leaders know this is a must-win game too. After a two game in- conference skid, every game for the rest of the season is a must win even after a 30-0 blowout over Niles West last week.

“We can’t take any of these games for granted,” senior quarterback and co-captain Drew Dawkins said. “We have to have great weeks of practice and we as players need to have better discipline.

Drew’s twin brother Trey, also a co- captain and the starting left tackle knows how crucial line play will be to finishing the regular season strong.

“For the rest of the season, we need to just get after it,” Dawkins said. “Knowing out assignments and being physical off the ball creates holes for our running backs and gives Drew time to throw.”

The players are also cognizant that this is not just any game. For many key members of the team, this will be their last chance to play in a homecoming game at ETHS.

“Homecoming is always a great environment and we want to win for the community,” senior receiver and co-captain Fletcher Brown said. “For us seniors, the clock is ticking and we want to make it count.”

Despite having their backs against the wall, Dawkins is confident moving forward.

“Our team has come a long way,” he said. “We will take care of business.

Part of winning late season games means staying healthy. Shorter, crisper practices keep players fresh, while having three or four years in the weight room has prepared players for the wear-and-tear of the season. The other key to surviving late in the season is making sure players stay engaged. One way the team has kept their focus this season is the knowledge that they will be getting new uniforms tonight.

“Our theme is ‘earn it’ for this year, so we decided that if we hit 80% attendance in the offseason, we’d move forward with the uniforms,” coach Burzawa said. “It’s something special for the players to be able to keep their high school jersey as a memory forever, and they paid for it on their own.”

You can see the new uniforms tonight. Kickoff is as 7:30 p.m. on Lazier Field.

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