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Defending Class 8A State Champs take advantage of Porter mistakes for 34-10 victory

Talk with anyone who has played and been defeated by Lincoln-Way East head coach Rob Zvonar's Grifffins and a unanimous statement would be agreed upon - you cannot make any mistakes against the Griffins.

On Friday night, in a Southwest Suburban Blue battle in Lockport, the host Porters found out the hard way that the statement about Lincoln-Way East (4-0, 3-0) is true.

Leading 10-7 and totally taking over the game with seconds remaining in the first half, the Porters (2-2, 2-2) made one crucial mistake.

Lincoln-Way East senior quarterback Sean Walsh (22-for-33, 335 yards, 5 TDs, 1 INT) connected with senior wide receiver Mason Pierre-Antoine (2 catches, 61yards, TD) in stride from 42 yards out for a touchdown with four seconds remaining in the first half.

The extra point was missed and the Griffins took a 13-10 lead into the half.

The Porters never recovered and the defending Class 8A state champion Griffins rolled to their 18th consecutive victory. Walsh threw three more touchdown passes in the second half, leading the Griffins to the 34-10 victory,

"We were in a hurry-up situation and became confused in our coverage and made a huge mistake," Lockport coach George Czart said. "We must play better pass defense. You can not make a mistake against Lincoln-Way East and not be hurt by it."

The defending state champs struck with 8:32 in the first quarter. Walsh threw his first of three touchdown passes to his favorite receiver Max Tomczak (eight catches, 121 yards, 3 TDs) from 23-yards out for a 7-0 Griffin lead.

The Porters responded with an 81-yard scoring drive on seven plays.

Porters senior quarterback Riley Pfeiffer (9-for-22, 81 yards, TD, INT) connected with junior running back Andrew LoPresti (11 carries 26 yards; four catches, 27 yards, TD) from 14 yards out for six. After junior place-kicker Gabe Czako's PAT, the game was tied at 7-7 with 11:15 in the half.

"We started off very strong," LoPresti said. "It felt great to score the tying touchdown. We will bounce back next Monday here against Andrew and then against Stagg for a winning 4-2 season."

A huge 27-yard pass play from Pfeiffer to senior tight end Quinn Kelly set up the Porters' score.

Three minutes later, Porters senior linebacker Joe Fiorillo picked off a Walsh pass and set the Porters up at their 35-yard line.

Porters junior wide receiver Ryan Little (five catches, 37 yards) and senior wide receiver Kyle Yehling drew pass interference penalties on the Griffins, moving the Porters into field goal range and Czako connected from 21-yards out and the Porters led 10-7 with 5:17 left in the half.

The virus-restricted but raucous Porter Nation was beginning to smell upset.

Sadly, five minutes and 13 seconds later, the Porters made that one crucial mistake.

Walsh hit senior Theo Ritter from 28-yards out for a 20-10 lead with 7:25 left in the third quarter.

In the fourth quarter, Walsh connected with Tomczak from 37 and 10 yards out for his fourth and fifth touchdown pass to conclude the game's scoring.

"We must play better pass defense," Czart reiterated. "We really stopped Jamal Johnson, holding him to just 70 yards rushing. We have to clean up a lot but we will get there. Our goal is to have a defense like Lincoln-Way East. We hope to finish strong and have a 4-2 record for the season."


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