Johnson, Lovelace lead Hoffman Estates past Schaumburg
Hoffman Estates sophomore wide receiver Jashawn Johnson says his chemistry with quarterback JoJo Lovelace is pretty good.
They sure had the right mix on Friday at Dennis Garber Stadium in Hoffman Estates.
Johnson caught 7 passes for 146 yards, including touchdown grabs of 51 and 26 yards, as the Hawks kept their playoff hopes alive with a 21-16 Mid-Suburban West football victory over a Schaumburg team that kept things interesting to the final minutes.
Hoffman also produced on the ground as Max Lock rushed for 100 yards and Mekhi Williams gained 62.
"We didn't have an answer for No. 4 (Johnson)," said Schaumburg coach Mark Stilling. "He was impressive tonight."
"He's really fast," Lovelace said of Johnson, who has caught 13 TD passes this season. "He finds various ways to get open and he just helps me out. I also have a great offensive line (Chaney Kahmari, Miguel Bonilla, Jeff Meyer, Eddie Resendez and Marcos Bustos) which helps me to drop back and get the ball to him quick.
"Early on, he (Johnson) showed great spurts and great movements. I stuck by him and he's making plays on Friday night."
Schaumburg's Brendan Rodatz (109 rushing yards) made two big plays late in the first quarter. The Saxons went 87 yards on a scoring drive in which Rodatz caught a 40-yard pass down the sideline and then bursted 33 yards up the middle for a TD that made it 7-7.
Hoffman (4-2, 1-1) went back in front when Lovelace found Johnson on a 26-yard TD pass, in which the sophomore caught ball near the 8-yard line and made a nifty cutback move to escape two defenders to reach the end zone.
A 30-yard field goal by Roberto Sanchez got Schaumburg (2-4, 0-2) to within 14-10 with 2:45 left in the first half.
"We hurt ourselves in some key situations," Stilling said. "At the end of the first half we had fourth and a half yard (at the 14-yard line) and then a penalty pushed us back five yards so we had to kick the field goal. Getting three instead of seven there hurt."
Hoffman's defense produced a three-and-out to start the second half and Lovelace then drove the Hawks 52 yards, capped by Williams' 3-yard TD run that made it 21-10 after Jonah Walton's third extra-point kick.
The Saxons put together their finest drive of the game with five minutes left when quarterback Jessie Luke completed a 25-yard strike to Isaiah Garcia and a 33-yard toss to Anthony Komperda before Shamaree Brown ran into the end from the 1-yard line with 1:21 left in the game.
After an incomplete pass for the 2-point conversion, the Saxons tried an onside kick but Damian Piekarczyk recovered the ball to seal the win for Hoffman.
"I thought our kids battled," Stilling said. "We had a couple of chances to give up and I don't know that we did. I thought we hung in there."
Hoffman coach Tim Heyse called it a big 'bounce back' win after last week's 31-6 loss to Conant.
"Schaumburg is a good football team," he said. "They're one of our rivals so we're up for them and they're always up for us. Last year, it was a 14-0 game but it seemed a lot closer just like tonight. We knew they weren't knew they weren't going to go away and we had to fight to the end."
The Hawks' defense had more than handful of sacks, including two big ones early in the second half from Tristan Schroeder and Justice Bamisaiye.
"They were getting after the quarterback all night," Heyse said. "They were making plays and competing right to that last drive."