Hoffman Estates continues to catch on, stops Hersey
Senior quarterback Austin Coalson and Hoffman Estates bookended Hersey 16-10 on Friday in Hoffman Estates.
Coalson used 6-foot-5 wide receivers Jaylan Alexander on one side and Jayvon Blisset on the other side to pick apart a staunch Hersey defense and keep Hoffman Estates flying high at 2-0.
"I was just doing my thing with my wide receivers," said Coalson, who finished 31-for-38 for 295 yards and a touchdown. "They are a bunch of studs out there. We were running a bunch of quick-game stuff -- getting the ball out quick and letting the wide receivers make the plays."
Alexander was dominant, catching 14 passes for 141 yards on mostly 3- to 5-yard routes.
"We were doing a lot of game-planning during the week," Alexander said. "In the summer we worked hard for this. We worked day in and day out and this is the result."
Blissett finished with 9 catches for 107 yards, including a 56-yard touchdown catch.
"We are a deadly combination," Blissett said. "And we have a great relationship with our quarterback. We work together well and have a great offensive coordinator that gets us in a position to have success."
Blissett found himself in that spot on Hoffman's first possession.
Coalson completed a pair of quick passes on the outside to Alexander, softening up the Hersey defense. Blissett then blistered the Huskies down the middle of the field and Coalson delivered a perfect strike to make it 7-0.
Hersey (1-1) tied the game in the second quarter on a similar play.
Huskies quarterback Owen Goldsberry (6-of-17, 181 yards) connected with a wide open Sean Watters on a 65-yard touchdown pass to make it 7-7 with 10:57 left in the first half.
Hoffman Estates responded with a 6-play, 65-yard scoring drive. It was highlighted by a 28-yard run by Jaylan Johnson, who then capped the drive with a 1-yard run. However, the conversion kick was wide to make the score 13-7 with 8:31 left in the first half.
Hoffman Estates had horrible field position in the second half. The Hawks were able to mount a 16-play scoring sequence that began at their own 4 and ended at the Hersey 2. Konnor Lancor kicked a 19-yard field goal to make it 16-7 with 3:22 left in the third quarter.
Hersey, which missed a field goal in the first half and had a TD pass called back for a holding penalty early in the third quarter, stayed close.
The Huskies moved the ball to the Hoffman 16 early in the fourth quarter. Scott Tangney converted a 33-yard field goal to make it 16-10 with 9:02 to play.
After a defensive stop, Hersey looked to take the lead. Thanks to a 44-yard pop pass from Goldsberry to Luke Cecala, the Huskies had first and goal at the 10.
Goldsberry (25 carries, 76 yards) was bottled up most of the night on the ground by a swarming Hersey defense. Despite that, he ran 7 yards on the first play. But a bad snap and a holding penalty moved the Huskies back to the 18. After Goldsberry scrambled for 6 yards, the Huskies misfired on their next two pass plays, turning the ball over.
Running behind Brandon Sheppard, Bailey Hurd, Justice Bamisaiye, Ryan Edwards and Javi Hurtado, Johnson was able to grind out the final 4:16 to preserve the victory for the Hawks.
"We knew it was going to be a grinder," Hoffman Estates coach Tim Heyse said. "We knew they were going to be coached up and we would have to grind one out -- and we did that."
Hersey coach Joe Pardun said that his team battled hard.
"We went down quickly on the road, but our kids responded," Pardun said. "We were 10 yards away. We learned a lot about our football team today."
It was also an emotional game for all of the Hoffman players. They all lined up to hug former Hoffman Estates coach Mike Donatucci, now on Hersey's staff, after the game.
"It was tough for all of us," Coalson said. "Outside of the coaching aspect, we are playing against our father. That is who made all this happen. I texted him before the game wishing him luck."