Tumilty racks up huge numbers in Willowbrook win

By Matt Le Cren
Daily Herald Correspondent
Updated 11/9/2019 7:33 PM

Sam Tumilty was determined to do everything possible to lead Willowbrook back to the state quarterfinals.

The senior quarterback did just that Saturday.


Tumilty accounted for 450 yards of offense and 4 touchdowns and added a key interception late in the fourth quarter as the host Warriors held off Yorkville 33-24 in a Class 7A second-round playoff game in Villa Park.

Willowbrook (10-1) will travel to Lake Zurich next week for the Warriors' fourth straight quarterfinal appearance.

"I believe in everyone on my team," Tumilty said. "They're my brothers and they believe in me.

"We came out with a lot of intensity. We bended but we never broke and stuck through it to the end. There was some adversity, but I think we fought well and I think that's our mentality, to just keep grinding it out."

Tumilty diced up the Foxes (8-3) with his arm and his legs. The 5-foot-9, 170-pound dynamo completed 20 of 31 passes for 314 yards and 2 touchdowns and rushed for 136 yards on 25 carries, including a pair of 1-yard touchdown runs.

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Tumilty's 79-yard touchdown pass to Everett Stubblefield gave the Warriors a 27-17 lead with 10:38 remaining in the fourth quarter.

But Yorkville answered with a 5-yard touchdown run by Toran Harris and got the ball back at the Willowbrook 29-yard line after the Warriors failed to convert a fake punt.

The Foxes got as far as the 18, but a third-down pass intended for South Dakota State recruit Cale Reeder was tipped by Deandre Holliday and picked off by Tumilty at the 4 with 3:30 left.

Reeder had given Yorkville a 7-0 lead with a 33-yard touchdown reception in the first quarter but didn't catch another pass until the play preceding the interception.

"Deandre was playing good defense on him all game," Tumilty said. "Deandre made a nice break on the ball.

"He knew he had help inside from me. I saw his deflection pop up and I went to grab it."


Holliday, like Tumilty, was terrific on both sides of the ball. He caught 7 passes for 108 yards and was part of the unit that held Yorkville to just 3 first downs through three quarters.

"In the moment I felt like there was a play that needed to be made," Holliday said. "The ball was thrown, I came down on the ball and Sam was right there when I tipped it up. It was a great play by both of us.

"It definitely gave us some relief. We knew the game wasn't over, though. We knew we had to finish at the end and great touchdown by Haven (Pryor) at the end."

Indeed, the Foxes got the ball back at their own 32 with 17 seconds left. But a last-ditch play that featured three laterals ended when Pryor scooped up a loose ball and ran 25 yards into the end zone as time expired.

"In playoff football you're going to have those ups and downs as you go and you've got to stay at even keel and bounce back," said Willowbrook coach Nick Hildreth, whose team gave up a kickoff return for a touchdown and had a punt blocked. "They never hung their head. They're always tough and they kept battling and found a way."

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