Patriots offense hits its stride in blowout win

Patriots offense hits its stride in blowout win
September 21, 2013, 4:00 am
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Mark Strotman

Now that’s more like it.

Three weeks after committing eight turnovers in an embarrassing loss to Indian Trail, the Stevenson Patriots offense has come full circle. Quarterback Willie Bourbon accounted for 365 yards and four touchdowns and the Patriots rushed for 270 yards in a 49-3 over rival Libertyville, pushing Bill McNamara’s group back to .500 and off to a 2-0 start in the North Suburban Conference.

Friday night marked the Patriots’ first game without left tackle Zach Novoselsky, who suffered a fractured fibula and torn ligaments in his ankle late in the first half of last week’s win over Zion Benton. Already without starting center Henry Sise, the musical chairs on the offensive line worked wonders, providing gaping holes for the running-back trio of Tim Vestudo (89 yards, 2 TD), Ryan Mass (30 yards) and Jack Joseph (24 yards, TD) and Bourbon, who rushed for 100 yards and had two scores on the ground for the second straight week.

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That offensive line also gave time to Bourbon, who went 11-for-17 for 263 yards and a pair of touchdown passes. And a week after finding senior Matt Morrissey for two scores, it was junior wideout Cam Green’s turn in the spotlight.

A week after going without a catch in the first half against Zion Benton, the 6-foot-3 Green went to work early, grabbing two receptions for 65 yards on Stevenson’s opening drive. Two possessions later, Bourbon rolled out right and threw a 15-yard comeback route to Green. The wideout bobbled the ball but was able to corral it in with one hand, throw himself off the cornerback and break two more tackles, racing down the sideline for a 45-yard score. In a little more than a half of play, Green caught four passes for 132 yards, his best output of the season.

Morrissey wasn’t completely left out, catching four balls for 69 yards and a touchdown.

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The defense performed admirably as well, but the main takeaway from Friday night was that McNamara’s group is finally back on track.

It was one thing to run over a winless Zion Benton team last week, but to run up 581 yards against a conference rival was proof that Bourbon, Morrissey and Green are still one of the top threats in the state.

They should enjoy more success next week against Vernon Hills (1-3), which has allowed 22 points per game this season.