By: Luke Drase
As per usual, the 108 year old football series between Evanston and New Trier had massive implications.
Besides being able to claim bragging rights, both Evanston and New Trier entered the contest 3-2, looking to solidify their playoff standing.
New Trier’s diverse ground attack ended up being too much for the Wildkits to contain, as they won 27-17, putting them one step closer to locking up an 8A playoff spot.
If a matchup between two long time rivals wasn’t important enough, the night was made even more significant with a pre-game statement made by Evanston superintendent Eric Witherspoon in light of recent events.
Speaking on behalf of Evanston Township students, Mr. Witherspoon spoke about striving to embrace the ideals of justice and equality for all.
After the statement and with the Entire ETHS football team kneeling, Mr. Witherspoon asked that everybody in the stands take a moment of silence to reflect on and support those who have been discriminated against. You can read the full statement here https://tinyurl.com/yceyr8d4.
When the game kicked off, both teams made it clear that they would be running the ball early and often. Although ETHS and New Trier were eating up chunks of yardage, the game remained scoreless at the end of the first quarter.
The deadlock was finally broken early in the second quarter. New Trier converted a 38 yard field goal and carried that momentum through their next possession.
Having already had two touchdowns called back due to penalties, the Trevians finally found the endzone thanks to a four yard run by junior running back Brian Sitzer to give New Trier a 10-0 lead.
With just 2:36 left in the half to work with, ETHS only took 20 seconds to score with a 50 yard catch and run from Drew Dawkins to Malik Ross, to go into the half only down 10-7.
The second half was a battle between New Trier’s Sitzer and Evanston’s sophomore running back Quadre Nicholson.
Sitzer started the scoring with a nifty 25 yard touchdown run, evading multiple, would be Evanston tacklers. The two teams swapped field goals on each of their next possessions and Evanston entered the fourth quarter with the ball down 20-10.
After doing most of the heavy lifting to get the Wildkits down the field, Nicholson finally found pay dirt with a hard earned, one yard touchdown run to pull Evanston within three.
Evanston got the ball back still down three, with about six minutes left in the game. The Wildkits looked to get their drive off to a good start as Dawkins scrambled for 15 yards, but he was stripped at the end of the play by Sitzer and New Trier took over at the ETHS 11 yard line.
New Trier capitalized on the Wildkit turnover with a 10 yard touchdown run by QB Carson Ochsenhirt to make it 27-17 with 5:40 left.
With still plenty of time left in the game, Evanston started marching down the field yet again, but another Dawkins fumble sealed the deal for New Trier as they ran out the clock to take the game 27-17.
After going through the toughest part of their CSL schedule, Evanston will look to get their first conference win against Niles West next week. As it currently stands, New Trier will have a bye week coming up as the Niles North varsity team is still suspended until further notice.