In a matter of seconds Friday night, Larkin turned what looked to be its second straight conference defeat into a victory that Royals fans will remember for some time to come.
Luka Bogicevic broke through the line, got his left hand on Danny Muzzalupo's 27-yard field goal attempt, and watched teammate Shaquille Mosley scoop up the ball and race 83 yards for the go-ahead touchdown with 13 seconds remaining to lift the Royals (2-2, 1-1) to a dramatic 26-20 victory over St. Charles East (0-4, 0-2) at Norris Stadium.
"I saw an opening," said Bogicevic, who was lined up as the second-to-last man on the left side of the field. "I got a great connection to it (the ball). I didn't know what was going on after that until I looked up and saw him (Mosley) with the ball.
"I just followed him down the field."
Mosley, who caught 5 passes for 115 yards, including a 58-yard touchdown reception from quarterback Kyle Newquist that tied the game at 20-all with 4:48 left in the fourth quarter, found himself in perfect position after Bogicevic's blocked kick.
"I saw the ball and the open field and just took off," said Mosley, who still seemed in a bit of shock after the post-game celebration. "I wasn't going to be caught. It seems so surreal. I can't believe it happened."
Nor could the Saints, who took a 20-0 lead midway through the second quarter and carried a 20-7 advantage into halftime of their homecoming contest.
"This one hurts," said Saints coach Mike Fields. "Two weeks in a row and we put zero points on the board in the second half. We'll look at the film and figure out what the heck happened."
After rushing for 207 first-half yards, including 130 yards and a pair of first-quarter touchdowns by Carter Reading (27 carries, 179 yards), the Saints were held to 70 second-half yards on the ground.
"We seemed to just break down on both sides of the ball - offensively, defensively, and obviously special teams," said Fields, whose Saints visit unbeaten Batavia (4-0, 1-0) next weekend. "We had some breakdowns there in the second half that you'd like to say are uncharacteristic, but it seems to be our pattern now for a couple weeks."
Larkin marched 80 yards in 12 plays with the opening kickoff of the second half, capped by a 12-yard TD run by Mo Jackson (19 carries, 144 yards) that narrowed the deficit to 20-14 with 5:31 left in the third quarter.
"I think they had four third-down plays on that drive and they got every one of them," said Fields. "That took the wind out of our sails and put the defense on its heels. And then we weren't able to move the ball offensively."
Meanwhile, the Royals continued their second-half momentum, led by Newquist (11-of-18, 187 yards), Mosley, Jackson, and an inspired defensive unit.
"We got their unbalanced (line) covered in the second half," said Royals coach Mike Scianna. "Our coaching staff did a great job adjusting in all the different phases."
For Scianna, the wild finish was a memory jarring one of sorts.
"Two years ago, Elgin blocked our field goal attempt and won the game (28-21)," recalled Scianna, whose team will face the Maroons Sept. 24.