CN100 Sports Football Preview: IHSA Quarterfinals - Maine South vs. Lincoln-Way East

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CN100 Game of the Week: Maine South vs. Lincoln-Way East

IHSA Football Quarterfinals – Maine South vs. Lincoln-Way East

– Maine South has been on a redemption tour since seeing its 77-game Central Suburban South winning streak snapped by New Trier in Week Seven.

The Hawks finished off the regular season with two dominant wins, went on the road to upset unbeaten West Aurora and avenged an earlier loss to Barrington last week. Now, Maine South faces a team that has had a prominent role in both programs’ histories, Lincoln-Way East. Though it was back in 2005, the Hawks lost the state title in overtime to the Griffins, which offers another shot at redemption Saturday.

Fans can see the game on CN100, The Comcast Network, at Noon and 4 p.m. on Sunday, Nov. 13, and 7 p.m. on Tuesday, Nov. 15. You can also watch it anytime in HD with Xfinity On Demand by clicking Get Local and CN100. X1 users, look for Get Local under the Xfinity Services tab.

"I’m really proud of how our guys responded after our week seven loss," Maine South coach David Inserra said. "It was our first CSL South conference loss after winning 77 straight games dating back to 2001. One third of our team was not even born when the streak started, so that was some incredible football. Our guys bounced back and put it behind them. They had a very mature approach and started to focus on the playoffs immediately."

The big keys offensively for the Hawks (8-3) are senior quarterback Nick Leongas and junior running back Fotis Kokosioulis.

Leongas is 125-for-185 for 2,287 yards, 23 touchdowns and two interceptions, while also rushing for 847 yards and 11 touchdowns on 116 carries. Kokosioulis has rushed for 1,154 yards and 17 touchdowns on 134 carries and adding 28 catches for 416 yards and three touchdowns.

Also contributing in the passing game are senior receivers Luke Hinkamp (19 catches, 477 yards, seven touchdowns) and Matt Holbrook (34 catches, 626 yards, six touchdowns) and junior receiver Cam Stacy (31 catches, 567 yards, five touchdowns).

The linebackers and secondary anchor Maine South’s defense. Senior safety Jack Hoffman leads the team with 74 tackles and three interceptions. Senior outside linebacker Jack Pistorius and junior safety Paul Sasso each have 55 tackles. Senior cornerback Matthew Schneider adds 52 tackles.

Lincoln-Way East (9-2) bounced back from two regular season losses with dominating playoff wins against Taft and Waubonsie Valley.

The Griffins are loaded offensively. Senior quarterback Jack Arthur leads the way, going 118-for-171 for 1,553 yards, 18 touchdowns and four interceptions. His top targets are senior receivers Jeremy Nelson (55 catches, 808 yards, 10 touchdowns) and Nick Zelenika (61 catches, 662 yards, six touchdowns).

The Griffins have a diverse running game, paced by junior Brendan Morrissey (70 carries, 482 yards, seven touchdowns) and senior Nigel Muhammad (124 carries, 822 yards, 16 touchdowns).

"LWE can run the ball as anyone we have ever seen," Inserra said. "They also throw and give you several looks. Which team will they try to be?"

Defensively, the Griffins lean on their massive defensive line, which is led by junior Devin O’Rourke and his 86 tackles (49 solo) eight sacks and 18 tackles for loss. Linebackers Jack Carroll (87 tackles, 15 tackles for loss), John Christensen (85 tackles, 44 solo, six sacks, 18 tackles for loss) and Brett Stegmueller (47 tackles, 12 tackles for loss) solidify the middle. Safeties Max Cesario (69 tackles) and Sean Maloney (60 tackles, two interceptions) lead the secondary.


- Paul Johnson, CN100 Sports Correspondent


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