One running quarterback plus one passing quarterback equaled one significant victory.
New Trier’s football team used that math to beat host Glenbrook South 28-15 in a regular-season finale on Oct. 20. Trevians senior Reed Bianucci, the starting QB in the first three games of the season, completed 9-of-11 passes for 193 yards and tossed a 34-yard touchdown pass to senior wideout Daniel Passeri; Trevians junior Carson Ochsenhirt, who had started at QB every week since Sept. 15, rushed 19 times for 64 yards to go with his 4-for-5, 70-yard effort through the air.
Sharing duties at signal caller in Glenbrook South’s homecoming game kept both fresh and the Titans’ defenders on their toes. One sometimes came in for the other in the middle of a possession.
“It all came together for us tonight,” Bianucci said.
New Trier senior tight end Brian Kaiser, fully recovered from a concussion he had sustained early in the season, caught three passes for a game-high 117 yards. The Northwestern-bound player competed in a game that had a Michigan-Michigan State look — Glenbrook South’s uniforms resembled Michigan’s home ensemble, while NT’s threads looked a lot like MSU’s road togs.
But both squads weren’t thinking Big Ten in Week 9; each focused on securing win No. 6 — and the automatic playoff berth that came with it.
New Trier, which led 11-7 at the half, improved to 6-3 overall (4-1 in the Central Suburban League South), and South fell to 5-4, 2-3.
NT scored on its first possession, getting a two-yard TD run from junior running back Brian Sitzer (13 rushes, 55 yards). Extra-point holder Michael Endre completed a pass to Ochsenhirt for a two-point conversion.
Glenbrook South’s Titans answered with an 80-yard scoring drive, capped by senior running back Savontae Garner’s two-yard burst. Julian Aragon’s extra point cut NT’s lead to 8-7 at 5:26 of the first quarter.
The Trevians tallied 17 unanswered points from there in a variety of ways: a 33-yard field goal by junior Graham Dable; that 34-yard TD pass from Bianucci to Passeri (3 receptions, 62 yards); and a 31-yard TD run from Sitzer.
Dable completed the scoring in Glenview with a 31-yard field goal in the fourth quarter.
Garner had rushed for another TD, this one a five-yarder, about four minutes earlier. Glenbrook South sophomore Andrew Gall — one of four Titans with at least 38 yards rushing — ran the ball for a two-point conversation.
Garner finished with 11 carries for 76 yards, followed by senior running back Jack Jerfita (16-70), senior Ben Hides (12-62) and Gall (6-38).
Titans senior linebacker Jalen Covington stood out defensively, intercepting a pass and breaking up another. Senior linebacker Cam Gottfred recovered a fumble, and junior defensive back Jack Seaman sacked Ochsenhirt in the fourth quarter.
NT senior DB Matt Mosher intercepted a pass on the Titans’ final drive of the night. Mosher and junior DB Donovan Perkins each broke up a pass. Trevians junior Ian Richardson recovered a fourth-quarter onside kick following Glenbrook South’s second TD.
Trevians senior Anthony Nicholas came down with five catches for 43 yards.
“It’s great, getting this win, our sixth,” Bianucci said. “We don’t have to worry about [playoff] points [what teams with five wins have to do before playoff pairings are determined on Oct. 21].”