November football was the goal when Evanston started workouts back in August. Now the Wildkits will have to wait until next year — again — to get there .
Evanston’s playoff drought continued Friday night in chilly Park Ridge as the Kits were no match for defending Class 8A state champion Maine South in a season-ending 58-7 first-round loss to the Hawks.
Evanston hasn’t won a postseason game since the 2003 season and finished 6-4 this fall.
Maine South quarterback John O’Sullivan threw 3 touchdown passes and running back Fotis Kokosioulis amassed 164 yards on 19 carries, including a pair of short touchdown runs, to pace the Hawks (9-1).
Evanston’s only score came on a 41-yard pass from senior quarterback Drew Dawkins to Garrad Lamour in the second quarter.
“We had a great week of practice and we were positive coming into the game, but that didn’t translate to the game tonight,” admitted ETHS head coach Mike Burzawa. “We just ran into a great opponent, a great football program. We couldn’t get out of the first quarter in Week 5 against them before we were down 21-0, and we couldn’t get out of the first quarter in Week 10 before we were down 21-0. And that’s a credit to Maine South.
“We have a lot of positive things going on in Evanston football. The freshmen and sophomore teams both had good years. We just have to fight to get that 7th or 8th win during the (regular) season so we don’t always come up against a top seed, and maybe we can get a home game. It’s frustrating, and it’s disappointing, to keep losing in the first round.”
Evanston’s defense only recorded one stop in the first half — on an end zone interception by Malik Ross — and one stop in the second half when the running clock went into effect. The winners totaled 265 yards on the ground and 289 through the air to advance to a second round matchup against Warren.
Dawkins, in the final start of a stellar career, completed 8-of-23 passes for 109 yards and was limited to 20 yards rushing on 19 attempts for the Kits. As a team, the losers only chalked up 53 yards on the ground after posting back-to-back 300-yard performances in the final two regular season games.
“There were a lot of positives to this season, led by a great group of seniors,” Burzawa praised. “They were such an unselfish group and they knew that it was all about the team. They have a lot to be proud of.
“We have yet to turn the corner (in the playoffs), but we’ll keep fighting to get there and bring November football back to Evanston.”
Dennis Mahoney is sports information director for ETHS.