Football: Maine East goes ‘back to basics’ on offense, wins
Maine East High School's varsity football team played Charles Schurz at Lane Stadium in Chicago, Saturday, August 25, 2012. Maine East cornerback William Heins chases down Schurz freshman Ramon Johnson on this first half play. | J.Geil ~ For Sun-Times Media
Updated: August 27, 2012 12:28PM
CHICAGO — Trailing by 10 at halftime, Maine East coach Gabe Corey stood in front of his football team and informed his players that the Blue Demons would take a simplistic offensive approach.
Corey’s game plan — to primarily feature 250-pound fullback Javed Lukovic and run an occasional misdirection play against Schurz — worked perfectly. The Blue Demons scored 22 unanswered points after halftime en route to a 28-16 season-opening victory at Lane Stadium on Saturday night.
“At halftime, I basically told them, ‘We’re going back to basics,’ ” Corey said. “‘We’re not going to do nothing fancy. It’s about blocking and tackling, and right now we’re doing crummy on both. We’re going to run Javed, our fullback, and every once in a while we’re going to hit them with a counter. If they stop that, then we’ll worry about it.’ ”
Maine East didn’t have to worry in the second half because the Bulldogs’ will was broken by the Blue Demons’ overpowering rushing attack.
Lukovic (16 carries, 152 yards) wore down the Schurz defense, rushing for 100 yards in the second half. The junior was dominant on Maine East’s first scoring drive of the second half, and his effectiveness set up an 89-yard touchdown run by Christian Lopez near the beginning of the fourth quarter.
Lopez’s lengthy scamper gave Maine East a 22-16 lead, and Lopez sealed the game moments later when he picked off Joseph Ruidais’ pass and returned it 68 yards to the Bulldogs’ 1-yard line. Maine East quarterback Alex Corey ran the ball in on the first play of the drive to clinch Maine East’s first victory of the year. The Blue Demons matched their win total from a year ago with the victory.
“This win means everything to us,” Lukovic said.