Deerfield High School’s football team got a taste of how good it thinks it can be in Friday’s 44-21 loss to New Trier and it plans to take those lessons into the Central Suburban League North Division season which opens at 7 p.m. Friday at Highland Park.
“We played like the team we know we can be,” quarterback Beth Ethridge said referring to the stretch when the Warriors overcame a 14-0 first quarter deficit to take a 21-17 lead midway through the third period.
First the Warriors will heed the words of Coach Steve Winiecki to take the necessary lessons away from the New Trier loss and then start preparing for the rival Giants and the annual battle for the Shields Trophy.
“As I always say, we take 24 hours to celebrate a victory or mourn a loss,” Winiecki said. “Tomorrow we’ll have a post mortem and then we won’t look back.”
Part of that review session may be taking a closer look at three turnovers—two fumbles and an interception—that ultimately led to a trio of Trevian touchdowns turning a game that was within reach for Deerfield until the four minutes into a 23-point defeat.
“There are some things we didn’t do well,” Winiecki said. “We want to get some kids healthy. We had seven who were not dressed tonight.” Those numbers can matter when New Trier’s roster numbers 75 while Deerfield has 39 when all hands are on deck. “Did you see how many guys came running on the field,” he added referring to the Trevians depth.
When the Giants and Warriors tangle Friday, roster depth will not be an issue. Highland Park lists 35 players and has had some injury issues of its own.
Ethridge, who ran for 169 yards and scored all three touchdowns, knows what he and his teammates will be doing after Saturday’s review. “We’re going to work harder than we’ve ever worked before,” he said.
One thing Deerfield learned Friday was what to do when a shift to plan B is required. Winiecki has often said the Warrior offense starts with its fullback and New Trier Coach Dan Starkey tried to make sure the attack never got off the ground.
“We knew they had a good fullback and we were able to contain him,” Starkey said. “We weren’t able to make the plays on their quarterback.”
Ethridge took advantage of all the attention that went to Alec Frank running for large gains both up the middle and by going wide. “The line opened up the holes nicely,” Ethridge said.
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