Combine the popularity of spread offenses with a quarterback with unique escapability and you’ll know why high school defensive coordinators lose a lot of sleep during the football season.
New Trier’s Clay Czyzynski has caused plenty of sleepless nights for the opposition, and he did it to arch-rival Evanston for the third year in a row Friday night in Northfield.
Czyzynski’s ability to keep drives alive helped the Trevians spank the Wildkits 38-17 in the Central Suburban League South division opener for both teams. Evanston, now 3-2 overall, couldn’t cope with the New Trier senior quarterback as he ran for 107 yards and completed 9-of-19 passes for 156 yards and two touchdowns.
It marked the second straight week that an opposing QB has rushed for more than 100 yards against the Kits. Evanston hasn’t beaten New Trier since 2010 but still leads the all-time series between the two rivals with 54 wins to 48 for the Trevs. The teams have played to a tie 5 times.
Evanston’s best hope to end that streak may have to wait for next year — after Czyzynski graduates.
“When the pocket broke down, he still made plays on us,” said Evanston head coach Mike Burzawa. “In the second half we had them 4th and 12 and he made a heckuva play, one that broke our backs.
“We made a lot of mistakes tonight. On offense, what sticks in my mind is some of the bad situations we were in, and on defense, we didn’t stop the run very well.”
Evanston quarterback Drew Dawkins threw a pair of touchdown bombs covering 73 and 80 yards to Derell Pruitt and Owen Ennis booted a 37-yard field goal to account for most of the highlights for the visitors.
Trailing 21-7 at halftime, Evanston held onto the ball for seven minutes in the opening drive of the second half, but could only muster that field goal by Ennis.
Czyzynski and his squad countered immediately, and his 14-yard run on 4th down moved the ball to the 18-yard line. That slick move set up a 6-yard TD run by Francis Fay on the first play of the fourth quarter, and put the game out of reach.
New Trier racked up 445 yards of total offense to 348 for the Kits.
Dennis Mahoney is sports information director for ETHS.