Hoffman Estates holds off Conant
Hoffman Estates did just enough of the right things to defeat host Conant 29-27 Friday night in the Mid-Suburban West.
With their fourth straight win over the Cougars and Fremd's win over Schaumburg, Conant and Fremd share the West crown. Conant will be the designated conference representative in the state playoffs.
"We wanted to keep the Mayor's trophy," said Hoffman running back/defensive back Max Lock. "We just wanted this one a little more. Tonight we were a brotherhood and we had that tight bond. I didn't have a very good game last week (loss to Fremd) and I felt I owed it to the team to have a good one tonight."
Lock scored what would turn out to be the difference. He also rushed 10 times for 84 yards.
Subbing for Matt Montgomery who suffered a minor leg injury early in the fourth quarter, Lock burst up the middle for a 28-yard touchdown run with 1:35 left in the game giving the Hawks (7-2, 3-2) a 29-20 lead.
The score was set up on Bryan Smith's fumble recovery at the Cougars' 37.
With the Cougars leading 20-16, quarterback/punter Kevin Polaski drilled a 54-yard punt to the Hawks' 13-yard line.
Hoffman Estates went 87 yards in 8 plays to score on Cam Kindred's 39-yard reception from Kyle Krogstad with 2:21 left in the game to take a 22-20 lead.
"My offensive line did a great job blocking and the receivers made some really good catches, " said Krogstad, who was 15 of 22 with 1 interception good for 244 yards and 2 touchdowns. "I told the linemen that if they could get me a few extra seconds it would be golden. They gave me more than I needed at times."
"Conant changed their coverage to a No. 2 in the second half," said Hawks coach Tim Heyse. "Their safety slid over to try to cover Malik Whitehead (5 catches, 97 yards) and left the middle open for the touch pass to Kindred and the run by Lock. We really needed this one."
The Hawks overcame 18 penalties for 150 yards.
The contest went back and forth with Isiah Cooper scoring the Hawks' first touchdown on a 1-yard run on the first play of the second quarter for a 7-0 lead. The Cougars countered on Bradley Spates (9 carries 90 yds.) 65 yard run to tie the game.
Whitehead took a 23-yard pass from Krogstad but Malik Frederik countered on a 12-yard pass from Kevin Polaski, who was 9 of 14 for 179 yards.
Adrian Witek's 41 yard field goal hit the crossbar and bounced over for a 16-14 lead with 11:42 left in the game.
"Witek had never hit a field goal over 30 yards in practice," said Heyse. "But with the wind at his back I said what the heck."
Polaski connected with Joseph Perez on a 62-yard pass to give Conant its last lead at 20-16.
Polaski would score the Cougars' final touchdown with 39 seconds left in the game.
Jordan Lane recovered the onside kick for the Hawks.
"Our kids played like they played all year," said Conant coach Bryan Stortz. "They gave us a great effort and I am proud of them. Hoffman made a couple of big plays. There wasn't just one thing that happened. We just weren't able to make a play when we had to."