In a Week 1 loss to St. Edward, Genoa-Kingston (0-2) beat itself with turnovers. In Friday’s 56-10 loss to Rockford Lutheran, two turnovers hurt G-K, but there were problems with penalties as well.
The Cogs had six penalties for 45 yards in the loss. In a first-half trip to the red zone, the Cogs had two false start penalties inside the 10-yard line that forced them to settle for a field goal. In addition, kicker Cris Camargo missed the 33-yard attempt with 8:29 left in the second quarter.
“Again, it’s not just turnovers. This week it’s penalties. We had a nice drive, getting down there. I don’t know where we got down to,” Frederick said. “A couple penalties backed us up. Now we’re kicking a field goal, now we’re missing a field goal.”
The drive was a momentum-changer. Camargo made a 29-yard field goal with 13 seconds left in the second half, but those were the only points G-K could muster the rest of the contest.
DeKalb quarterback Jack Sauter didn’t hang his head after the Barbs’ 33-27 loss to Hampshire on Friday.
The loss was DeKalb’s (0-2) second in a row against a team that won just one game last season.
“We’re going to learn from this, I promise you that, and we’re going to become a better team,” Sauter said. “We’re going to move on from this.”
The Barbs have plenty to learn after making a few mistakes that cost them the game.
The Barbs were in control heading into the fourth quarter, holding a 21-13 lead. But they mishandled two punts, which helped put the Whip-Purs in scoring position.
The Barbs battled back and put together another scoring drive with 40 seconds remaining, but couldn’t stop Hampshire on the ensuing possession.
“I don’t think we played too poor of a game, offensively we hung in there, they were bringing a lot of pressure,” Sauter said. “We held in there pretty well. For us to go on the field with a minute-and-a-half left with a scoring drive, that was pretty good.”
Through the entire week of practice after Hiawatha’s Week 1 loss, the Hawks’ offensive line heard an earful from the coaching staff during film sessions.
According to Hiawatha coach Sean Donnelly, the line’s performance wasn’t up to par in the Hawks’ 42-7 loss to Ottawa Marquette.
Week 2 proved to be a different story. The Hawks were able to provide ample running room for senior RB Dakotah Quimby, who piled up 68 yards and a touchdown against Hope and only allowed one sack.
“They didn’t wear down like a week ago,” Donnelly said. “They battled the entire week. They worked their tails off.”
In the season opener, Hiawatha didn’t get a lot of push up front and Quimby was often stopped for small gains of two or three yards. The holes were much bigger against Hope as Quimby, Nick Doolittle and Dale Steinhorst consistently picked up five or more yards. Quimby’s touchdown came from 22 yards out.
With an offense that runs as Hiawatha does, the Hawks will need to keep getting good performances out of their offensive line.
Maybe Donnelly should show them the Week 1 tape again.
1. Kaneland (2-0)
Kaneland's explosive offense was evident again against Huntley in Week 2, but the defense yielded 35 points and will need to find get more stops moving forward.
2. Sycamore (2-0)
The Spartans easily dispatched North Lawndale on Saturday night and gained more momentum going into their showdown with DeKalb.
3. Hiawatha (1-1)
The Hawks ended a 13-game losing streak with a fourth-quarter comeback, which was capped by Marek Mlodzianowski's 39-yard FG with 57 seconds to play.
4. DeKalb (0-2)
Dre Brown found some running room for the Barbs, but issues on special teams killed DeKalb's chances for a win.
5. Genoa-Kingston (0-2)
The Cogs made it a game early against Rockford Lutheran, but were unable to muster any offense in the second half.
Austin Culton, Sycamore, Senior, RB
After being bottled up in Week 1, Culton found some running room against North Lawndale, rushing for 122 yards and two touchdowns.
What to watch for
Sycamore vs. DeKalb at NIU, 7:30 p.m.
The Barbs desperately need a victory to keep their playoff hopes alive, but they face a Sycamore team that is riding high after consecutive wins.
Chicago CICS/Longwood at Hiawatha, 7 p.m.
The Hawks go for their second consecutive victory when they host another Northeast Athletic Conference opponent in Week 3.
• Anthony Zilis, Steve Nitz and Ross Jacobson contributed to this report.
VIEWS: Hiawatha believed that it could win
Immediately after Hiawatha’s victory over Hope Academy on Friday night, coach Sean Donnelly and the Hawks huddled up near midfield.
Donnelly pointed to the scoreboard showing Hiawatha’s first win since 2010 and said “Look at that!” The Hawks turned and, faces beaming, let out a collective “Yeah!”
It was the highest of highs for a group of kids that have experienced their fair share of lows over the past two seasons. Blowout losses were common for a Hiawatha team that often looked overmatched against its Northeast Athletic Conference opponents.
It would’ve been easy for Marek Mlodzianowski to have sat out of the game against Hope. The senior kicker was battling a case of mono and was held out of Hiawatha’s road soccer game earlier that day. He didn’t have to tough it out, but he chose to.
Mlodzianowski played a part in several clutch plays that led to Hiawatha’s win. The Hawks were able to recover two onside squib kicks and quarterback Mike Mercado found senior wide receiver Derek Ross for a 23-yard pass play off a fake punt on 4th-and-12.
No matter how bad things got, how many consecutive Fridays ended in defeat, there was still a belief that this Friday night could be different. As Hiawatha walked out on the field for warmups, Ross was shouting “We gonna win tonight.” It wasn’t just a show, it was a statement he, and the Hawks, believed in.
Mental toughness is one of the hardest things to acquire in high school sports. When faced with adversity, how do you respond?
Hiawatha’s football players battled and hung in there. And that probably made the victory that much sweeter.
• Ross Jacobson is the sports editor of the Daily Chronicle. Contact him by email at email@example.com.