Hampshire football coach Dan Cavanaugh said that the Whip-Purs' season-ending 27-8 loss to Crystal Lake Central was a microcosm of the Whips' season.
"We just battled and battled but big plays hurt us defensively," the Hampshire coach said. "And we shot ourselves in the foot a little offensively with miscues here and there."
Hampshire dominated the first 20 minutes of the Fox Valley Conference Fox Division matchup in Hampshire. The Whips led 8-0 after one quarter on Phil LaPointe's 12-yard touchdown run. They had a chance to open things up more, reaching the Tigers' 6-yard line, but Kyle Anderson was sacked on fourth-and-5 to end the threat.
"If we could have put that second touchdown in, that might have made a difference," said Cavanaugh.
As it was, Central got on the board before halftime, and the second half was all Tigers. Kyle Levand threw 2 long touchdown passes to Isaiah Mosher in the second quarter to break it open as the Tigers spoiled Hampshire's Senior Night.
Mosher was all alone on both plays, a 44-yard strike to give the Tigers the lead and a 50-yard play minutes later to make it 20-8.
Levand scored on a 32-yard run to complete the scoring.
Levand finished 12 of 20 for 166 yards. He was intercepted once by Mason Fleury.
"We didn't play together as a team in the first half," Levand said. "We figured it out and came out in the second half ready to play."
Central (7-2, 5-1) is headed for the playoffs, while the Whips (3-6, 2-4) had to settle for knowing that they are getting closer in the FVC.
"We're a far cry from where we were last year coming into this conference," Cavanaugh said. "We were a couple of plays away from winning 5 games, maybe 6."
Hampshire didn't complete a pass, with the Tigers' defense intercepting Anderson once and sacking him 5 times. But Hampshire was able to control the clock with its ground game, led by LaPointe, who had 86 yards on 18 carries. Nick Kielbasa added 57 for the Whips.
After Fleury's interception, Hampshire drove 61 yards in 11 plays, all on the ground. Other than a 3-yard gain by Chris Calvin, LaPointe and Kielbasa accounted for all of the yards.