First down: After Saturday’s 44-43 win over Maine South in Wilmette, senior Anthony Romano was on the track by the home stands celebrating the victory with family, one of whom was his older brother, Alex Romano. Alex played for Maine South when the Hawks won Class 8A state titles in 2008 and 2009. Anthony got his first state championship last season as a starting linebacker for the Ramblers. “It was not a matter of if, but when,” said Anthony, who attended Emerson Middle School in Park Ridge. “I’ve still got one more to go to tie him. But he roots for me to do it.” That was clear to see Saturday as Alex was wearing a Loyola football T-shirt. “Family first,” Alex said. “I’ve told him he’s got to match me. I think they are on their way.”

Second down: Anthony Romano missed the entire third quarter and part of the fourth with leg cramps. While the middle linebacker was in the training room getting an ice bath, Maine South scored two touchdowns and took a 37-34 lead. When Romano returned to the field, the Ramblers forced the Hawks to a three-and-out. “It was hard not being out there,” he said. “I kept texting my sister in the stands to find out what was going on. I’m glad I was able to finish the game.”

Third down: Senior quarterback Tommy Herion (pictured above) passed his first big test of the season Saturday. The first-year starter who transferred from Notre Dame before the beginning of his junior year directed an offense that produced 544 yards. He finished 15-for-24 for 229 yards and two touchdowns. He also ran nine times for 44 yards and scored a TD. His highlight was a 6-yard gain on fourth-and-3 that set up junior running back Hamid Bullie’s game-winning, 5-yard TD run with 2 minutes, 15 seconds remaining in the fourth quarter. In two games, Herion has completed 62 percent of his passes for 409 yards and three TDs. He hasn’t turned over the ball, either.

Fourth down: Maine South’s 43 points were the most by an opponent in head coach John Holecek’s 11 seasons at Loyola. It also was the first time a team scored 40 or more points against a Holecek defense. Before that, St. Laurence put up 38 points in a 2007 loss to Loyola in the Prep Bowl playoffs. In Holecek’s first 10 seasons, the Ramblers have surrendered an average of 11.04 points a game. But a young Loyola defense combined with the Hawks high-powered offense conspired to make history. Maine South totaled 565 yards and averaged 9.6 yards per play. Maine South junior running back Fotis Kokosioulos gained 256 yards on 17 touches and scored four TDs. His 65-yard TD catch early in the fourth quarter was an example of Loyola’s defense being out of position. Kokosioulos found himself wide open in the left flat and sprinted down the sideline for score that put Maine South up 37-34. Loyola’s defense acquitted itself when it broke up Maine South’s two-point pass that would have given the Hawks a one-point lead with 52.1 seconds left in the fourth quarter.

Photo credit: Melissa Krein/Loyola