In a dual of quarterbacks, New Trier High School’s Matthew McCaffery came out ahead of Deerfield High School’s Ben Ethridge to lead the Trevians to a 44-21 victory over the Warriors Friday in Northfield.
Making his first start at quarterback, McCaffery ran for a pair of touchdowns, threw for two more and caught a pass for a fifth while Ethridge ran for all three of his team’s scores. Each set the tone for his squad in a game that was in doubt until the final four minutes.
McCaffery went first. Facing third and 26 on his own 31-yard line early in the first quarter of a scoreless game, he completed a 61-yard touchdown pass to Spencer Cotton.”We’ve been playing together since fourth grade,” McCaffery said. “We knew the corner would cover him one on one and I had confidence he would make the play.
After McCaffery tossed a second scoring play to Blake Sammann near the end of the first quarter for a 14-0 edge, things began to change. On the third snap of the second quarter Ethridge broke free for a 61-yard touchdown run. Or did he? After an inadvertent whistle stopped the play, officials put the ball on the Trevian 35. No explanation was given for the ball placement.
“It made us real angry,” Ethridge said. “When you’re angry you play harder and we all played harder.” On the next three plays he carried the ball 13, 17 and five yards to score Deerfield’s first touchdown.
After the Deerfield defense held New Trier on three downs, Charlie Durbin’s punt pinned the Warriors on their eight-yard line. Ethridge, Alec Frank, Sam Modro and Alex Williams took their team on a 92-yard scoring drive capped off by Ethridge’s six yard run and two-point conversion to tie the score.
After Durbin gave New Trier a 17-14 halftime lead with a 40-yard field goal, Ethridge, Frank and Modro took Deerfield on an 80-yard march to a 21-17 lead with 8:40 to play in the third period. After that, New Trier’s defense got stingy and McCaffery still had touchdown pass, run and reception in him.
“We made some (defensive) adjustments in the second half,” New Trier Coach Dean Starkey said. Deerfield’s offense initially bewildered New Trier. “Defending the option is an execution defense. We were able to shut it down.”
New Trier improved its record to 2-2 for the season and opens its Central Suburban League South Division season when it entertains Waukegan at 7:30 p.m. Friday. Deerfield, now 1-3, begins Central Suburban League North Division action at 7 p.m. Friday against Highland Park.
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