Football eliminated from playoff contention after loss to Maine South

Owen Chiss and Will Klearman

To keep its playoff hopes alive, football not only had a 24-game losing streak against Maine South to break. Mother nature added a downpour. Though Evanston was able to hold Maine South to just seven points in the first half, after that, the Redhawks ran away with the game. With this loss in the books, the Kits’ hopes for a playoff berth have definitively been crushed.

Though the Kits held the Redhawks to just a touchdown at half-time, Maine South cracked the game open in the second half, ultimately defeating Evanston, 28-7.

Rainy conditions on Friday night created a sloppy field that affected both teams’ ability to move the ball down the field. The only score for nearly three quarters came midway through the first when Maine South quarterback Jack Defillippis capitalized off of a 59-yard drive. In the first half alone, Maine South (6-2, 4-0 CSL) and Evanston (3-5, 2-2 CSL) combined for six punts, two interceptions and a myriad of miscued snaps. 

The Kits showed some signs of life on offense in the third quarter but ultimately couldn’t convert on a crucial 4th and 6 on the Maine South 34. From there on out, the Redhawks took control. An impressive one-handed, 44-yard reception from Maine South’s Sean Mullen in the third gave the Redhawks the momentum they needed to bring their point total up to 28 by the game’s end. And while the Kits responded with a 14-yard touchdown pass of their own in the fourth, it was too little too late. 

While the Kits were certainly competitive for most of the game, quarterback Dylan Groff emphasized the home team’s need to execute better.

“I really liked the effort. We just didn’t execute how we wanted to,” said Groff.

For Groff and the other seniors on the team, this loss marks their final time playing on Lazier.

“I’ve been playing on this field since I was in third grade,” said Groff. “You never really think it’s going to end. Knowing it’s over is just a weird feeling that hasn’t hit me right away.”

With the win, Maine South clinched its 31st straight CSL South division title and its 24th consecutive victory over the Wildkits. Ranked seventh in the state as of Oct. 12, the Redhawks are certainly a team to keep an eye on in playoffs. 

Evanston will look to rebound in its final game at Glenbrook South (7-1, 3-1) next Friday. While no longer in the playoff picture, the Kits aim to get back in the win column to close out the season. 

Groff summed up the team’s mindset going into next week with three words.

“Have some fun.”