Dundee-Crown keeps playoff hopes alive with narrow win over Hampshire
Rarely has ugly looked so good for Dundee-Crown.
The Chargers scored on their first offensive play, and the defense and special teams did the rest as they kept alive their playoff hopes by beating Hampshire, 21-13, in Fox Valley Conference action at the Dundee-Crown Bowl.
Josh Raby connected with Jordan Hairston for 57 yards on the game's first play, Damarion Butler returned a blocked punt for a score, and Butler and Jack Michalski came up with late interceptions to preserve the victory.
"It was ugly, but a win's a win," said D-C coach Mike Steinhaus. "It doesn't matter, we'll take those. We don't get those a lot. I told the guys that they're the second team here in 20 years to have 4 wins.
"I'm really proud of our guys. We probably had a different offensive line every game. We've had different groups on defense because of certain things, and they keep battling and fighting, so that's pretty impressive by them."
The Chargers (4-4, 4-4) still must beat Huntley next week to have a shot at the postseason, but they were happy to at least be in that position.
"It's a great opportunity for us," Raby said. "It doesn't happen a lot of times around here that we're playing a meaningful football game in the last week of the season. We know we have to go out and win next week. We had to take care of business tonight and we got that done. It was ugly, but we got it done."
Hampshire, still looking for its first win of the season, made things interesting. The Whip-Purs scored on a short pass from Jackson Milison to Andre Allison and on Jake See's 1-yard run in the third quarter. Craig Martin Jr. blocked the extra point following the second touchdown, so D-C led 14-13.
Hampshire was driving with a chance to take the lead when Butler picked off William Buterbaugh's pass. The Whips got the ball back again, but Michalski picked off Milison one play later. That set up Ricky Ibarra's 7-yard TD run to put the Chargers up 8.
Hampshire had one more chance to tie, getting into D-C territory on a pass-interference penalty, but the Chargers sacked Milison on the game's final play.
"That's probably one of our highest effort games," said Hampshire coach Jake Brosman. "They played really hard, which in week 8 of a rough season is very positive to see. These guys are putting in a great effort. If we could have finished a couple of our drives, we'd be sitting in a different seat."
Raby finished 8 of 15 for 113 yards. The Chargers rushed for just 74 yards.