By Drake Skleba
For the Bugle 

H-F holds off Bolingbrook in Class 8A Top Ten match-up

Raiders fall just shy of turning miscue into to victory


Last updated 10/19/2019 at 9:42am

The host Vikings from Homewood-Flossmoor entered Friday night’s Southwest Suburban Blue showdown ranked No. 5 in the Associated Press Class 8A state football rankings. The Vikings entered the game with a 6-1 overall record and a 3-1 SWSC Blue mark. The Vikings lost to No.1 Lincoln-Way East (8-0, 5-0), on September 27, 28-14.

The guests from Bolingbrook entered the game, ranked 10th in the AP’s Class 8A state football rankings, entering with a 6-1 overall record and a 3-1 SWSC Blue mark. The Raiders lost to No. 1 Lincoln-Way East (8-0, 5-0), on September 20, 20-10.

On Friday night H-F (7-1, 4-1) held off Bolingbrook (6-2, 3-2) to wrap up second place in the SWSC Blue with the 14-13 victory in Flossmoor.

The margin of the host Vikings’ victory, was about one foot.

In the fourth quarter, H-F was leading 14-7 and faced a fourth and 9 at the Bolingbrook 32.

Viking quarterback Dominic Jones (9-for-18, 194 yard, TD), dropped back to pass and was annihilated by Raider senior defensive end Deandre Turner for a 16-yard loss.

The Raiders responded with an eight play, 52-yard scoring drive capped off by a nine-yard scoring jaunt from sophomore halfback Jaquan Howard (13 carries, 37 yards, TD) to pull within 14-13 with 6:58 remaining.

The crucial point-after-touchdown attempt turned into disaster.

A wild snap went over the Raider holder’s head, but wide receiver Antonio King almost turned catastrophe into victory.

The fleet-footed King picked up the football at the 15-yard line and streaked toward the corner of the end zone. As King was just about to give the Raiders a 15-14 lead, with the two-point conversion, two Viking defenders crushed King one foot away from the goal line.

“I picked up the bad snap and had open field in front of me,“ King said. “I thought I was going to get in and give us the lead. I fell just one foot short.”

The Raider defense got the ball back for the Raiders at their own 11 with three minutes remaining. Senior quarterback Devyn Suggs (6-for-16, 87 yards) hit King (4 catches, 64 yards, TD) for 29 yards to midfield, but the Raiders could get no closer as the clock ran out.

“We played the No. 1 and No.5 in the state right down to the wire,” Bolingbrook coach John Ivlow said. “We learned a lot about ourselves and have nothing to hang our heads about.”

After a scoreless first quarter, Ivlow went to his bag of tricks to get the Raiders the lead with 9:16 left in the half.

After King electrified the 'Brook large contingent of fans with a 45-yard punt return to ignite the Raider scoring drive, King would get a little help from his friend, junior wide receiver Andrew McElroy.

On a fourth and five from the H-F 20 yard-line, Suggs fired a strike to McElroy on the line of scrimmage. McElroy caught the pass and fired a 20-yard scoring strike to King for six. After senior place kicker Joe Balas’ PAT, the Raiders led 7-0.

“We were only able to work on that play a couple of times in practice this week,” King said. “I told Andrew to just throw it up in the air and I will go get it. A perfect pass.”

H-F ran 39 first-half plays to only 11 for the Raiders. Bolingbrook had just 35 yards of offense on those 11 plays but led 7-0 due to the vaunted Raider defense:Turner, Sonny Ducato, Ison Robinson, Tyler McLaurin, Caleb Kelly, D’Mauryon Hunter, Malik Rainey Ben Sommer and Micah Huff, kept the Vikings off the board.

After the Raiders scored the trick-play touchdown, the Vikings went on a 21-play drive to close out the first half. Turner picked up his first quarterback sack of Jones on a third and goal at the Raider nine-yard line with 20 seconds left in the half.

“There isn’t anyone, who I would rather go into battle with than my Raider teammates,“ Turner said. “My brother defensive backs, covered their receivers which allowed me to get the big sack on Jones.”

H-F stormed out of the halftime locker room and scored a pair of touchdowns in the first six minutes of the second half to grab a 14-7 lead.

Viking leading rusher Sean Allen (37 carries, 106 yards, TD) tied the game at 7-7 with a 19-yard run into the end zone.

Viking leading receiver, junior William Pauling (five catches, 158 yards, TD), hooked up with Jones for a 76-yard touchdown with 6:54 remaining in the third quarter for a 14-7 Viking lead.

“Our defense played great for us tonight,” Ivlow said. “They did their job tonight and Antonio fell just a little short of turning a bad play on the point after attempt into a game winner.”


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