Buffalo Grove hangs on to down Elk Grove
It was a very close battle from start to finish when host Buffalo Grove faced Elk Grove Friday night in the Mid-Suburban East season finale for both football teams.
The Bison trailed 17-13 in the fourth quarter. But they put together a 65-yard scoring drive before holding off a late Grenadiers' comeback attempt to capture an exciting 20-17 victory.
Buffalo Grove (4-5, 2-3) closed out the 2019 campaign on a high note while Elk Grove (2-7, 1-4) walked away with a tough loss despite an outstanding performance from junior running back Ian Ridge (210 yards on 36 carries).
Trailing 17-13, Buffalo Grove sophomore running back Cole Nixon (91 yards on 15 rushes) got 1 yard on a fourth-and-1 play to put the ball on the Elk Grove 9-yard line.
Two plays later, Nixon bounced off an Elk Grove tackler and into the end zone for a 6-yard TD run and a 20-17 lead with 3:04 to play following the extra point by Cal Gerhardt.
The defense did the rest for Buffalo Grove as an interception by Ayden Anderson near midfield off Elk Grove quarterback Charlie Janczak (5-for-9, 45 yards passing) sealed the win with less than a minute to play.
"It's really cool to see all of these seniors be so happy and be able to win their last game," said Nixon. "Our coach (Jeff Vlk) wanted us to leave everything on the line, and I felt that is what we did."
A 5-yard TD run by Buffalo Grove quarterback Mark Antonetti (9-for-10, 117 yards passing) opened the scoring before Elk Grove's Antonio Sandoval kicked a 22-yard field goal to make the score 6-3.
A 3-yard TD run by Ridge with only 24.1 seconds left in the first half gave the Grens a 10-6 halftime lead.
The Bison responded with a 2-yard TD run by Antonetti to take a 13-10 lead late in the third quarter. But a 4-yard TD run by Ridge gave Elk Grove the lead back at 17-13 with 8:12 left.
"It was a game we should have won, but we couldn't pull it off," said Elk Grove coach Miles Osei, whose team had 266 rushing yards. "He (Ridge) is a special player, he's able to set up his blocks really well, and he has great vision."
This is the first time in three years that Buffalo Grove has not reached the IHSA playoffs.
"Our kids fought hard, Elk Grove is a well-coached team, and our guys wanted to go out on top," said Vlk, whose team had 252 total yards of offense. "Nixon is awesome, and to do what he's done as a sophomore is pretty impressive."