Squandering a lead late in the game for a second straight week, Huntley's defense could only watch in stunned silence as Crystal Lake Central scored with 13.6 seconds left on a 15 yard pass from Kyle Lavand to Eric Hjerstedt and the Tigers defeated the Red Raiders 34-27 in Fox Valley Conference crossover action in Huntley Friday night.
"The kids did everything to win the game," said Huntley coach John Hart. "I am very proud of the kids. Central made the plays when they had to. Our goal is to make the playoffs so we have to bounce back against a very good Dundee-Crown team next week."
The Red Raiders (2-2) looked to be in good shape when Blake Jacobs lofted a perfect 27-yard touchdown pass to Brandon Altergott with 1:48 remaining in the game to tie the game at 26. Donnovan Young's extra point kick gave the Red Raiders a 27-26 advantage.
But the visiting Tigers (3-1) had enough time to march 76 yards in 9 plays to score the winning points.
"We never quit and when you never quit you have a chance to win," said Crystal Lake Central coach Matt Fralick. "This is an exciting win against a good team. We have a lot of work to do. We can't get too full of ourselves. It's a marathon, not a sprint."
Playing without senior running back Jake Scalise for the better part of 3 quarters, senior Mitchell Kawell picked up the slack for the injured Scalise compiling 127 yards on 32 carries including a 5-yard touchdown run.
Jacobs was solid at quarterback for the Red Raiders, completing 9-of-23 passes for 167 yards and 3 touchdowns, 2 to Altergott and 1 to Josh Esikiel.
The Red Raiders' defense recovered 2 Central fumbles. Michael Walker recovered a fumble in the first half and rambled 55 yards which set up Kawell's touchdown run.
Marcus Wright also recovered a fumble.
Central's balanced offense gave Huntley's defense fits all night. The Tigers compiled 482 yards of total offense, 202 rushing and 280 passing.
Lavand was 24-of-42 and threw 2 TD passes, the winning score to Hjerstedt and a 35-yarder to Jack Ortner. Ortner had a monster night for the Tigers catching 18 passes for 208 yards.
Ryan Williams led the Tigers in rushing with 110 yards on 20 carries including TD runs of 4 and 15 yards.