Chicago Christian stuns Fenton in final seconds

By Stan Goff
Daily Herald Correspondent
Updated 10/19/2018 10:59 PM

With two schools playing for their playoff lives, you could not have asked for a more exciting finish.

But for the Fenton football program, Friday's last-second 34-33 loss at Chicago Christian is a tough pill to swallow.


The Bison built a 33-18 lead on the Knights following a 16-yard touchdown run by Andre Bess with 6:46 left to play. Bess had 149 yards on the night and 2 second-half touchdowns, but it was not quite enough.

Chicago Christian, which entered the game 5-3 overall and 1-3 in the Metro Suburban Red, needed a win to ensure a playoff berth as their opponents' win total was not as lofty as that of the Bison (5-4) entering the game.

With their backs against the wall, the Knights managed to not only score two touchdowns down the stretch -- helped by an onside kick recovery -- but they also ran in both crucial 2-point conversions to pull out the improbable win.

Desmond Rodgers, who ran for 118 yards and two scores, started the comeback with a 3-yard score that was followed by Jeffrey Smith's dive inside the pylon on the 2-point run. That closed the gap to 33-26 with 3:05 left to play. After the home team recovered the onside kick, it drove 52 yards for a touchdown with 10.7 seconds left and another PAT run.

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"Of course we want to win every time we take the field, but this was a good experience because we have not been in this situation before," said Bess, who played a key role in Fenton's 300-yard ground attack. "We played hard. We all played hard and that's all that really matters."

After Bess' last touchdown run that was preceded by scoring runs from teammates Kyle Cacioppo and Andre Reed, it looked as if Fenton would earn the sixth win it needed to clinch a playoff berth. With five wins the Bison must hope they have enough playoff points to get into the playoffs.

But credit the Knights, who last played in the playoffs in 2009, with never giving up.

Jonathan Griffin, who split time at quarterback with Smith, had a 3-yard touchdown run in the first half and then an 8-yard touchdown that closed the gap to 33-32 with just over 10 seconds to play. He then fought his way into the end zone for the conversion that won the game.

Cacioppo rushed for 123 yards and also had a 29-yard touchdown pass to Ivan Lozada. Reed raced 53 yards to the end zone on his only carry, but it was Chicago Christian's late charge that earned one team a playoff berth while the other is sitting on the playoff bubble until Saturday night's pairings.

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