True to their absent head coach, Maine West showed some fight.
While the results this season haven't been ideal, Maine West battled for 48 minutes but couldn't overcome Deerfield's running attack in a 49-7 loss Friday night in Des Plaines in Central Suburban North play.
On Wednesday, Maine West coach Chris Hare had surgery on his back and a result, had to miss his first game on the sidelines.
"He was hoping to be here but it just happened," said assistant coach Russ Swenson. "He's in a lot of pain. The parts that the doctors were trying to fix are going away so right now, he's just hurting from the surgery."
Without Hare, who doubles as the offensive coordinator, Swenson and the rest of the staff had to manage the offense. The team totaled 199 yards on the ground but had trouble finding the end zone.
"Of course, it affects you when the head coach isn't here," Swenson said. "We had to pick it up and try to pull out whatever we could."
Deerfield quickly jumped out to a 21-0 in the first quarter, using a low-risk run game to wear down Maine West. Deerfield quarterback Bradley Holway (9 carries, 76 yards) put the visitors ahead to stay just over four minutes into the game with a 36-yard touchdown scamper.
Tyler Vajdic added to the lead three minutes later with a 2-yard touchdown run before Holway scored his second touchdown from 3 yards out to close the quarter.
"We were running our option very well," said Deerfield coach Steve Winiecki. "Our formations gave them some issues. We hang our hat with running the ball and that's that we did tonight."
Maine West moved the ball the entire game but scored just once after three trips to the red zone. Maine West quarterback Jake Korbecki scored the team's lone touchdown in the third quarter to close the deficit to 35-7.
"That's been the story of our season," Swenson said. "We get down to that red zone and tend to shoot ourselves in the foot a little bit. We have been working on that so we'll see what happens going in for these last three games."
There were some brights spots, such as Raul Anaya returning a punt 30 yards to set up Maine West's scoring drive. John Manicke rushed for 52 yards and Dan O'Hara (5 carries, 63 yards) had runs of 32 and 24 yards to put Maine West in position to score, but 10 penalties for 100 yards were momentum-killers.
"Our kids played hard," Swenson said. "We fought through the whole game. We asked them to get positive yards and outside the penalties, we were doing that."