Reversal of fates favors H-F at Stevenson
Whether it was redemption or just plain relief, Homewood-Flossmoor senior Deante Harley-Hampton was just happy to get out of Lincolnshire with a win.
Harley-Hampton fumbled near the goal line in last fall's state title game, which played a big part in Stevenson wrapping up the program's first football state championship.
Friday night, with the game on the line again, Harley-Hampton wasn't about to let history repeat.
With his team clinging to a 7-point lead in the fourth quarter, Harley-Hampton burst through the Stevenson defense for his fourth score of the night to secure a 43-29 win for the Vikings before an overflow crowd in Lincolnshire on Friday night. The loss snapped a 15-game winning streak for Stevenson, and it was the first regular-season loss at home for the Pats since they fell to H-F in Week 2 back in 2013.
"It felt great because last year I fumbled to lose, and this year I helped us win it," Harley-Hampton said. "This was a great game tonight. Stevenson brought out the best in all of us."
Deante and his twin brother Devonte were a double nightmare for the Stevenson defense. They combined to rush for 398 yards and 4 rushing touchdowns.
"I worked hard all off-season, and we did too as a team," Deante said. "To finish the game off like that feels great."
Homewood-Flossmoor (2-0) needed everything from its offense to hold off the performance of Stevenson senior Jack Sorenson. After getting hurt on the second play of the game in a win at Palatine a week ago, Sorenson looked like he hadn't missed a beat.
In his first varsity start at home, the Miami Ohio-bound Sorenson ran for two scores and threw for another to pace a Stevenson offense that amassed 408 yards from scrimmage.
"I think the rest of the state got to see what we see in practice every day tonight," McNamara said. "He stepped up for us -- all our guys stepped up and just played with so much heart."
H-F opened up a 22-7 lead midway through the first half before Sorenson took to the ground to get Stevenson back in it. His 33-yard scoring run was followed by a 7-yard keeper knotted things up 22-22 with 5:28 left in the half.
"Pound for pound, play for play we played step for step with (H-F)," said Sorenson, who rushed for 124 yards and threw for 223. "We try not to look at the score. We think every second of the game, no matter what the scoreboard says, it's 0-0."
Sorensen started the Stevenson scoring six minutes in with a nifty 48-yard touchdown pass to Henry Marchese for the first Patriot score of the night. Marchese caught 8 balls for 107 yards.
"I thought Jack was arguably the best player on the field tonight, and there were several D-1 players on the field tonight," said Stevenson coach Bill McNamara.
Stevenson (1-1) again found itself down two scores in the fourth quarter before Sorenson ignited yet another comeback. This time, Tyler Vincent closed a 6-play, 69-yard drive with a 29-yard scoring run to get within 36-29, but that was as close as Stevenson got.
Deante Harley-Hampton's fourth score of the night with 1:15 left came after a Stevenson drive stalled inside the H-F 40.
"In the second half we had our opportunities, we just didn't finalize the game," McNamara said. "Our guys hung in there against the No. 1 team in the state and went blow for blow with them down to the very end."