Olaniyan, Thomas each run for 2 TDs in Trevians' 34-10 win
New Trier's Matt Quinlan tries to break up a pass during the Trevians' 34-10 win Friday in Northfield. (Photo by Nic Summers www.SportsStarPhotos.com)
The New Trier junior running backs each scored a pair of rushing touchdowns – untouched by the Waukegan defense on all four trips to the end zone – on plays between the tackles as the Trevians ran past visiting Waukegan 34-10 in the Central Suburban League South game and clinched a berth in the Class 8A state playoffs.
New Trier (6-3, 3-2 in CSL South) will learn its first-round playoff matchup when the pairings are released on Saturday night. It's the second trip in as many years since coach Dan Starkey took over the Trevians' program.
Olaniyan scored on runs of 6 and 10 yards and then it was Thomas' turn to hit paydirt on runs of 10 and 16 yards. The only reason their uniforms got dirty at all was because of the blocking they did for each other, although Thomas also turned in a full night's work at linebacker with Jack O'Malley sidelined by an injury.
Those clean uniforms could be traced to the work of the offensive line led by center Casey Karnes and flanked by Eric Goldner, Ethan Smith, Campbell Lipe and Tom Maentz. Olaniyan finished with 11 carries for 78 yards, Thomas carried nine times for 83 yards, and fullback Andrew Hrabe also scored on a 2-yard plunge.
"We played a pretty solid football game tonight," Starkey said. "Our offensive coaches did a great job with the game plan and our offensive line got a head on a hat tonight. They really worked hard to sustain their blocks, and it showed on those touchdowns. You've gotta have a running game at this time of the year. Karnes has had an outstanding year for us at center and so has Lipe.
"We're a step ahead of where we were last year (as a playoff qualifier with a 5-4 record in 2010) and I'm excited about the position we're in. I think we have a chance to do some great things in the playoffs. We can be explosive on offense at times, and we can stop the running game, too. When you can do those two things, you have a great shot in the playoffs."
New Trier's Michael Thomas tries to break free on a run during Friday's game. (Photo by Nic Summers www.SportsStarPhotos.com)
Bulldogs' senior wide receiver Kyle Williams caught seven passes for 129 yards, but the visitors only mustered 98 yards on the ground.
New Trier scored on its first two possessions, driving 58 yards for Olaniyan's first TD – a run up the middle after Karnes cleared out any lurking Waukegan defender. The next time the Trevians got the ball, quarterback Jack Nykaza passed to Devin Boehm for a 35-yard gain that set up Olaniyan's 10-yard scamper up the middle again.
Olaniyan, however, fumbled the ball to Waukegan's Javier Thompson to end New Trier's next scoring threat. Richter's deep sideline toss to Williams covered 37 yards and eventually led to a 36-yard field goal by Richard Hernandez that got the Bulldogs on the scoreboard.
The first of three Waukegan turnovers – an interception by Will Caffery – led to another Trevians’ score with 4 minutes, 21 seconds left before halftime as Thomas raced off tackle from the 10.
Sam Scherer's pick set up a 16-yard scoring run by Thomas early in the second half. Four personal foul penalties against the Bulldogs helped New Trier's reserves mount one more scoring drive in the fourth quarter, with Hrabe reaching the end zone.