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New Trier's Spencer Cotten (81) cannot catch Conant's Tim Manczko (84) as he heads for the endzone after a first quarter interception during their Class 8A first-round football playoff game at Conant High School in Hoffman Estates Saturday. October 27, 2
Tim Manczko started jumping up and down, waving his arms in disbelief. The senior wide receiver had slipped behind the New Trier defenders midway through the fourth quarter. Had quarterback Danny Modelski seen him and thrown it to him, Conant would have had an easy score to ice the game.
But the junior quarterback didn’t see his top receiving target, instead throwing an incomplete pass short. Modelski didn’t miss Manczko two plays later, though, picking up 31 yards on a third-and-15 pass and catch. The acrobatic circus catch by Manczko – doing a complete 360 to locate the ball – set up junior running back Bryson Brown’s six yard score one play later that sealed a 14-0 first-round win in Class 8A for host Conant.
The loss ended New Trier’s season. The Trevians end the year 6-4, overcoming several major injuries to reach that point. New Trier went 4-1 in conference, finishing second in the Central Suburban South behind Maine South.
“I feel good about where the seniors led us this season,” New Trier coach Dan Starkey said. “I just wish we could have created more takeaways today and executed better on offense.’’
The offense controlled the clock, but was done in by two key interceptions. The first came in the first few minutes of the game when Manczko picked off a Nick Hendricks pass and returned it 70 yards for a 7-0 Conant lead. The second came with nine minutes left in the fourth quarter, when a third down pass was deflected and intercepted in the end zone by Conant.
The Trevians held an offense that averages well over 30 points a game to just seven.