Palatine quarterback Cody Bobbit hurdles a tackler to gain some yards Saturday in Class 8A playoff action at Glenbrook South.
Photo courtesy of Dan Currier
Where would Palatine be without quarterback Cody Bobbit?
Where would Bobbit be without Jim Smearman?
Maybe not in the Class 8A quarterfinals but they are.
Behind the 1-2 punch of Bobbit and Smearman, along with the help of a fiery offensive line, the Pirates advanced with a 42-14 second-round win at Glenbrook South on Saturday.
Linemen C.J. Machnik, Joe Landeck, Josh Baldus, Cody Oversen, Tyler Farris and Wesley Hunt did the upfront damage against the Titans (6-5).
"Cody and I are best friends," Smearman said. "I put my body out for him with some good blocks. If it means a touchdown, then I'll do it."
With the score tied 14-14 at halftime, the Pirates took command the rest of the way.
Smearman came through with two big blocks in the third quarter that led to a pair of Bobbit's 3 touchdowns.
A key block by Smearman helped Bobbit spring loose for a 21-yard run to the Titans' 1, and Bobbit scored on the next play with 9:29 left in the quarter for a 21-14 lead.
Smearman again threw a key block that helped Bobbit scamper into the end zone from the Titans' 14 with 3:38 left in the quarter and a 28-14 lead. That drive covered 77 yards in 11 plays.
"Coach (Tyler Donnelly) said at halftime that Jim and I had to take over the game," Bobbit said. "Even though they tied the score just before the half, we still had confidence in what we could do."
Smearman showed his versatility when he took over at quarterback for Bobbit after the first play in the fourth quarter. After a 5-yard gain, Bobbit (30 carries for 200 yards) suffered a cramp and left the game.
Two plays later, Smearman (19 carries for 91 yards) ran around right end for an 18-yard touchdown and a 35-14 lead.
Terry Halloran scored the Pirates' final touchdown on a 31-yard run. Dan Jump kicked 6 extra points.
The Pirates broke out on their first possession when Bobbit scored on a 3-yard run.
Palatine sophomore Lucas Rago intercepted a Mike Jenkins pass and returned it for a 38-yard score and a 14-0 lead with 3:51 left in the first quarter.
The Titans tied the score, as John Strickland notched touchdown runs of 7 and 41 yards, the latter with four second left in the half. Strickland finished with 114 yards in 17 attempts, but he gained only 9 yards in the second half. The Titans rushed for 176 yards, but just 29 after intermission.
"We executed better in the second half," Donnelly said. "We challenged the kids at halftime that this could be their last half of football and they responded. I think they like to be challenged and to hear it from the coaches.
"What can you say about Smearman and Bobbit. Smearman is a winner and he likes challenges. He's got a nose for the end zone. Bobbit is a leader and our best athlete. He gives a lot of the other players credit. That's the type of player he is."