Spitz plays well in loss to Hersey
Glenbrook North's A.J. Spitz rushes the ball against Hersey on Friday in Arlington Heights. | Joe Cyganowski~For Sun-Times Media
This Week Glenbrook North
Hosts Lane Tech, 7:30 p.m.
Hosts Maine East, at Rob Roy, 4 p.m.
At Buffalo Grove Invite, 10:30 a.m.
Hosts Highland Park, 4 p.m.
At Winnetka G.C vs. New Trier w/Glenbrook South, 4 p.m.
At Loyola, at Glencoe G.C., 4 p.m.
At Evanston Invite vs. Walter Payton, 5 p.m.
At Evanston Invite, 4:30 p.m.
At Maine South, 7 p.m.
At Stevenson, 5 p.m.
Hosts Stevenson, 4:30 p.m.
At Glenbrook South, 4:30 p.m.
At New Trier at Winnetka Pk. Dist., 4:30 p.m.
At New Trier Invite, 5 p.m.
At New Trier Invite, 9 a.m.
Hosts Libertyville, 6 p.m.
Hosts Glenbrook South, 6 p.m.
Updated: October 1, 2012 4:43PM
A.J. Spitz saw the look in everybody’s eyes before the opening game at Hersey.
The Glenbrook North junior quarterback could tell Friday’s game meant more than most. After all, it was the first time the Spartans played together since the deaths of teammates Billy Garrity and Kyle Caraher during the offseason.
“There was an energy there,” Spitz said. “We knew those guys would give anything to be here with us, to play in the game with us. It was upsetting that we lost.”
Hersey beat Glenbrook North 49-13, but the Spartans were in the game during the first half. Tommy Senft’s 12-yard catch from Spitz got Glenbrook North within a touchdown late in the second quarter.
The senior receiver included Garrity and Caraher in the celebration when he touched his heart and pointed to the sky.
“Of course, it was a tough summer,” Senft said. “But when we are on the football field, we are allowed to forget about all that for a couple of hours and have some fun. It’s always in the back of our minds, though.”
The Huskies assumed control with a touchdown before the half and another early in the third quarter to go ahead 35-13. The Spartans were not able to put together any comeback.
“We have to be more physical, and we made too many errors,” said Glenbrook North coach Bob Pieper. “But they made big plays. They are a solid team on both sides of the ball.”
The starting quarterback on the sophomore team last season, Spitz showed signs of promise in his first varsity start. The signal-caller went 11-for-17 for 103 yards and two touchdowns against no interceptions. Spitz was sacked seven times with five of them coming in the first half.
“I feel like I did all right,” he said. “It definitely could have been worse, but I have a lot of things to fix, like stepping up in the pocket and getting rid of the ball faster. I also need to read blitzes better, but I was better in the second half.
“Another thing is bringing more energy to the huddle.”
Senior Grant Rushing, the CSL North’s offensive player of the year as a sophomore, ran 11 times for 79 yards and scored the game’s first TD on a catch-and-pitch play early in the second quarter to tie the game at 7-all.
The Spartans struggled moving the ball down the field consistently. Five drives ended with three plays and a punt and one with three plays and a blocked field goal.
Spitz completed passes to four receivers, with Senft catching a team-high four balls.
“For me, it’s about getting the whole team involved,” said Spitz, who also played in the secondary during certain situations. “I’m at my best when I get the best out of my teammates.
“For my first game, I feel like I did all right.”
Glenbrook North gets a chance to even its record Friday at home against Lane.~.