Few programs have spooked New Trier football quite like Glenbrook South has in recent memory — and on Friday the 13th in Glenview, the Titans gave the Trevians another nightmare of an evening.
Glenbrook South defeated New Trier 35-20 at John Davis Titan Stadium on a rain-soaked night that only added to the Trevians’ frustrating 2023 campaign. It was the fourth time in the last five seasons that the Titans have bested New Trier.
“They’re just more physical than we are in the game in key moments,” New Trier head coach Brian Doll said of the Titans’ run of success over the Trevs.
Doll later added that New Trier “had some opportunities” in Week 8 against South, but “it wasn’t a great game tonight” by the Trevs. “I think we played a decent first half, but not great, and we played a bad second half,” he said.
South’s physicality was on display from the get-go. The Titans opened the game with a 10-play, 80-yard scoring drive that gave them an early lead they never surrendered. South gained four first downs on the series and gained all 80 yards on the ground.
New Trier’s defense came up with several key plays in the Titans’ next two series to prevent them from adding on. The Trevs stuffed a fourth-and-2 attempt inside their own territory, forcing a turnover on downs. New Trier then held South to an unsuccessful field goal attempt after the Trevs could not convert a fourth-down try of their own to give GBS the ball back in prime position.
New Trier got on the board on its next drive when junior quarterback Patrick Heneghan fired a 27-yard touchdown pass to senior Charlie Gardella. The series was kept alive on a key fourth-down conversion when Heneghan connected with Miles Cremascoli. The Trevs missed the point-after attempt and entered the half trailing 7-6.
The Titans handed New Trier a prime scoring opportunity early in the third quarter when they fumbled a punt just outside of their red zone. But the Trevs could not cash in on the opportunity as they were unable to gain a first down and missed a 41-yard field goal attempt.
South made New Trier pay for the missed opportunity, scoring on its next drive via a 2-yard run. GBS also converted the two-point attempt, extending their lead to 15-6.
New Trier answered relatively quickly as senior running back Jackson McCarey broke free on the seventh play of the Trevs’ ensuing series for a 50-yard touchdown run. McCarey’s score put the Trevs within two points.
But the Titans once again derailed any hopes for a New Trier comeback when they added to their lead on a 32-yard touchdown pass to Tyrone Cotton lll, his second score of the night. After forcing a three-and-out from the Trevs’ offense, the Titans capped a 70-yard, six play drive with a 14-yard touchdown pass.
South’s 28-point second half was not done yet as the Titans had one more score in them. After intercepting a New Trier pass on fourth-and-32, the Titans set up shop inside Trevians territory and finished their drive on a 7-yard touchdown pass.
New Trier added its third touchdown of the evening when Cremascoli made a stellar one-handed catch that turned into a 64-yard score.
Like so many moments throughout this season for New Trier, the second half, and particularly the third quarter, was a missed opportunity to take control of a game.
“We had chances in the third quarter to really break ahead there and we just missed some big plays and there were some opportunities that weren’t taken advantage of on offense,” Doll said.
“Defensively, in the second half, we had some big breakdowns, they caught us on some shifts and we shifted the wrong way a few times and got a little confused. Credit to them for making that adjustment and our guys were having a hard time processing that in the end. I really thought in the third quarter, after the fumble on the punt, we had two or three plays there in a row that were good opportunities for us to score and we didn’t take advantage of them.”
New Trier will wrap up its season next week at home on senior night against Central Suburban League South newcomer Deerfield. And despite the year playing out far different than the Trevs expected, the team will still hope to end on a celebratory note.
“The main thing for us is finishing it off for those (seniors) and playing for those guys,” Doll said. “They’ve had a rough go this year. I feel for them and I’ve talked to them a lot about that. There’s been a lot of ups and downs and more downs than we wanted.”
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Martin Carlino is a co-founder and the senior editor who assigns and edits The Record stories, while also bylining articles every week. Martin is an experienced and award-winning education reporter who was the editor of The Northbrook Tower.