Elgin rallies from 14 down, stuns Streamwood
Give the ball to XB and say go. Not a bad idea.
That was Elgin coach Anthony Mason's shorthand for Xavier Bonds' 2-point conversion run with 1 minute, 48 seconds left in the fourth quarter, which gave the Maroons a 23-22 Upstate Eight Conference victory at Streamwood.
It capped a big comeback from a 22-8 Sabres lead after three quarters.
"My team depended on me, so when I get depended on I just do it. The point is, make it happen," said Bonds, who followed Darrell Thornton's lead block through a hole created by linemen David Behrendt, Kenneth Davis and Antonio Rios.
"My coach called us winners, so I've got to make it happen for my team. Not for me, for my team," said Bonds, who ran for 67 yards and touchdowns of 2 and 35 yards and caught 3 passes for 30 yards.
The conversion would have been a moot point without the amazing touchdown pass that preceded it.
After a wall of Elgin defenders stopped Streamwood on fourth-and-2 from the Elgin 44-yard line, quarterback Jeffery Lomax and Bonds got the Maroons to Streamwood's 33.
Lomax pump-faked left to Bonds and threw deep to Alex West on a fly down the left hash marks. The junior laid out horizontally to make the grab in the end zone.
"When I first threw it I thought it was deep," Lomax said, "but I have a lot of trust in my guys and I know the type of plays that they're able to make. So I know if I can get it in the vicinity that they're going to be able to get the ball."
The 15-point rally dashed an all-star outing by Streamwood wingback Buddy Martinez, who ran 20 times for 179 yards with touchdown runs of 67 and 27 yards.
Also, Sabres sophomore quarterback Kevin Lunz, in for injured Andrew Phan, threw Streamwood's first touchdown pass of the year. Zach Marquez's 9-yard reception and Martinez's conversion gave the Sabres an 8-0 lead at 6:58 of the first quarter.
"Yeah, we were a little worried," said Elgin's West, "but indisputable persistence, like Coach has taught us, that you just keep working and eventually elite character and all that stuff is going to come through for us."
As Lomax said: "Something I've always lived by in my life is pressure makes diamonds. And I like jewelry."
Elgin (2-4, 2-4 Upstate Eight Conference) retains hope for its first playoff berth since 2010. The Maroons placed Streamwood (2-4, 2-4) on the same brink.
"Obviously we started out flat," Mason said. "I just don't think everyone was ready to play and understanding that every game is our championship now. That's something we're going into this next week here is just making sure they understand every play, every day, every game is our championship."
Shortly after the teams finished their handshakes, the entire Streamwood team ran to the north entrance where an off-the-field scuffle had threatened to break out, according to a police officer that was part of a swift and heavy response.
Streamwood administrators refused to provide information and neither Sabres coach Don Guindon nor his players were available for comment.