Football: Bartlett loses quarterback Steve Hrbacek for season
By Erik Jacobsen For Sun-Times Media August 27, 2012 10:27PM
Bartlett's Steve Hrbacek is tripped up during a game last season. Hrbacek will miss the rest of the 2012 campaign with a broken clavicle. | Andrew A. Nelles~For Sun-Times Media
Updated: November 30, 2012 11:33AM
Bartlett’s first game, and perhaps its entire season, took a drastic turn on its fourth offensive play from scrimmage Friday night.
That’s when senior quarterback Steve Hrbacek rolled out of the pocket and sustained a crushing blow that broke his clavicle in several places. The injury, which will keep Hrbacek out for the rest of the season, proved to be an omen for the rest of the night as the Hawks went on to endure a 49-0 whipping at the hands of Wheaton North.
“The first series we were on defense and held them three and out,” Bartlett coach Tom Meaney said. “The second series we were moving the ball pretty good on the first three plays. Then we had a roll-out pass and somebody caught (Hrbacek) from behind coming off the edge and landed on top of him.
“The kids kind of got deflated from that. They like (Hrbacek) and he’s a good leader, so we’re all going to miss him.”
The 49-point loss marked Bartlett’s most lopsided defeat in program history, topping a 48-0 loss to Oswego in 1998, which was the first season the Hawks fielded a varsity team. The 49 points allowed by Bartlett also ties a program record dating to a loss to Larkin in the same 1998 season.
Sophomore Jordan Flint, who competed with Hrbacek for the starting quarterback job throughout the summer, will step in as the starter in his teammate’s absence. Senior Kyle Garcia is another option at quarterback, but his primary focus is at free safety.
The Hawks look to bounce back from their loss to the Falcons, who are ranked No. 10 in the Sun-Times Super 25, when they return to action Friday at Elgin. The Maroons had only 17 players in uniform for their 54-12 loss against Dundee-Crown in Week 1.
“You either keep fighting or you lay down,” Meaney said. “We plan to keep fighting.”
Defense a good predictor of success
It might seem elementary, but the teams that played the best defense in Week 1 tended to have the best results.
Local squads that held opponents to 20 points or fewer last weekend went 5-1. The lone exception was Hampshire, which lost to Burlington Central 16-7.
On the flip side, teams that allowed more than 20 points went 1-6, with South Elgin’s 48-35 victory against Downers Grove South the only outlier.
St. Edward’s defense was especially key in a 15-14 win against Genoa-Kingston. The Green Wave forced four turnovers and held the Cogs scoreless in the fourth quarter.
“We’ve got new kids in some positions on offense, so our defense is going to have to carry us for a while,” St. Edward coach Mike Rolando said. “For the defense to not only play the way they did, but to also make the adjustments they made was impressive.
“(Genoa-Kingston was) running on us pretty good at the beginning of the game, but coach Marc (Rusinko) did a great job adjusting to what they were doing and we were able to pretty much shut them down the rest of the way.”
Ritchie effective under center for Rockets
Burlington Central quarterback Ryan Ritchie played like a three-year varsity starter in his team’s victory against Hampshire.
The senior either passed or ran for all of the 153 yards compiled by the Rockets in the first half. He finished the night with 97 rushing yards and two touchdowns on 14 carries and also completed 9 of 13 passes for 105 yards.
“I was more calm out there,” Ritchie said. “It was just the experience I had coming back for my third year, I think I’m more relaxed. My sophomore and junior year I tended to come out and try and throw the ball 100 mph.”
Dundee-Crown’s offensive output a long time coming
It hasn’t been uncommon for Dundee-Crown to give up 50 or more points in recent seasons, but for the Chargers to hang such a big number on an opponent has been virtually unheard of.
Dundee-Crown’s 54-12 victory against Elgin marked the program’s highest scoring output since a 56-0 win against Chicago Austin in Week 2 of the 1990 season. The Chargers hadn’t scored 50 points since a 50-0 triumph against Crystal Lake Central in 2000.
— Brandon Mangia contributed