Patriots Continue Push into Playoffs

Patriots take down Zion Benton in their final home game
Thomas Simmons ’25 intercepts a pass from the Zion-Benton quarterback early in the game. The Patriots’ strong defense was featured throughout the game, as they racked up multiple sacks and critical tackles.
Thomas Simmons ’25 intercepts a pass from the Zion-Benton quarterback early in the game. The Patriots’ strong defense was featured throughout the game, as they racked up multiple sacks and critical tackles.
Ansh Aggarwal

The Stevenson Patriots football team continued their push to the playoffs with a powerful win against the Zion Benton ZeeBees on Senior Night. The Patriots pounced on the ZeeBee’s, beating them 50 – 0 in the final home game of the regular season.

Even on a chilly October night, the Patriots had played perfectly from start to finish. Running back Frank Costabile ’26 and wide-receiver Armand Burris ’24 both scored multiple touchdowns, while defensive athletes like Ethan Aghakhan ’24 and John Concialdi ’26 made several tackles and a sack each. On the other end of the ball, the ZeeBees were struggling to gain any offensive and defensive momentum. 

Zion Benton started with the ball, which quickly led to a Stevenson possession after a sack by Aghakhan and an interception by Thomas Simmons ’25. Quarterback Aidan Crawley ’26 rushed the ball to Costabile, which ended with setting up the field goal for kicker Caden An ’26 to make it 3-0 Patriots in the blink of an eye. 

Leading the second quarter, Stevenson continued their superb offensive performance with Crawley connecting with Burris in the deep end of the end zone to score the 14 yard touchdown, followed by the extra point by An. It was now 16-0 Patriots, with 8 minutes of ball left until halftime. 

With another consecutive possession, the Patriots running back Costabile quickly broke through the Zion Benton defense to run into the end zone for his second time of the night: a 23 yard rush to extend the lead to 22-0. Costabile later scored again in the quarter for his third touchdown, making the score 29-0 by halftime.

Frank Costabile ’26 celebrates his second touchdown of the night with teammates. Costabile scored a total of four touchdowns on the night, igniting an offensive explosion for the Patriots.
(Ansh Aggarwal)

The second half began with a glimmer of hope for Zion Benton, as their previously subdued offense pulsed with signs of life. ZeeBee’s quarterback Ramar Hudson ’25 broke through the Patriots’ defense, securing the ZeeBees’ first down of the night. However, a Hudson fumble quickly shifted the momentum back to the Patriots by giving them yet another possession.

Neither the ZeeBees nor the Patriots scored for the remainder of the 3rd quarter. However, the 4th quarter started with a bang after Patriot quarterback Zachary Hersh ’25 connected with Jack Staub ’25 for the 57 yard touchdown pass, his first of the season. After the extra point, the game ended at 50-0.

Seth Levy ’25 kicks off to start a Zion-Benton possession following a touchdown early in the fourth quarter. The Patriots would go on to force another punt on fourth down and gain their final offensive possession to wrap up the game. (Ansh Aggarwal)

With only two games left in the season, there is a possibility for a home playoff game, a feat the Stevenson football program hasn’t accomplished in nearly a decade. After another victory, the Patriots feel very confident about the remainder of the season.

“Last game was huge for the morale of the team,” lineman Albert Murillo ’25 said. “I think that this excitement will really carry over in practice and over into the next two games.”

Moving to a 5-2 record has really given the Patriots something to be proud of moving forward in the season. Linebacker Luke Nelson ’25 looks back on the last two wins and believes that they are another step towards the team goal.

“We’ve always had that winning mindset but I feel like with the recent win over Lake Forest, that mindset has definitely been amplified,” Nelson said. “Our team—the seniors, juniors, and sophomores—really want to get Stevenson back to where it used to be: that playoff team every year.”

As for the seniors, they closed their final high school home football game with a win on their Senior Night. Senior leadership has been a crucial part of the team’s successes throughout the season, as it gets players motivated during games and practices. 

“Seniors like Owens and Olomon, their practice really elevates us because every time I see those guys play, they always give their 100%,” Nelson said. “Seniors like Aghakhan, their play just gives us something to rally around during games, and it motivates us to make a stop or get a touchdown on offense or defense.”

Will Kerksick ’24 walks onto the field with family while getting recognized on Senior Night. Before the game started, all senior football players were recognized individually for their dedication to the football program. (Ansh Aggarwal)

Next Friday, the Patriots will face the Waukegan Bulldogs. The athletes have a state appearance in the back of their minds as they come close to the end of the season, but they realize there is plenty of pressure that comes with it.

“The goal is to win the state championship,” Murillo said. “We know the challenge ahead, but we have an extremely motivated and ambitious group.”

Frank Costabile ’26 reaches out to catch his third touchdown of the half, pushing the Patriots into a commanding 29-0 lead as the clock expires. The Patriots went on to score three more touchdowns in the second half,winning the game with a final score of 50-0. (Ansh Aggarwal)



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