Big day for Clawson, Hersey in victory over Rolling Meadows
Hersey's Ben Clawson squeezed a season of huge plays into four quarters Saturday in Rolling Meadows.
Clawson had a game to remember. The junior scored 5 touchdowns, had 326 yards of offense and knocked down three passes on defense to lead Hersey to 40-23 Mid-Suburban East win over host Rolling Meadows in the season opener for both teams.
It was the 250th win in program history for Hersey. It was also the first regular-season loss for Rolling Meadows since Oct. 20, 2017.
"It was an emotional game for us," Clawson said. "Coach puts a lot of trust in me. He calls my number and I've got to make a play for him."
Clawson had a litany of big plays for Hersey.
He had touchdown receptions of 19 and 17 yards. He had touchdown runs on 45, 1 and 98 yards. Clawson would finish with 9 carries for 195 yards and 11 catches for 131 yards.
Clawson also added some key plays at defensive back including knocking away a sure touchdown pass.
"He is kind of like a senior to us," said Huskies coach Joe Pardun, who started Clawson last season at wide receiver and defensive back. "I could feel him. And that is a cool thing. He is one of our leaders and not just because of skill. It is because of his work ethic."
Hersey came back to score three times after Meadows tallied to take the lead for good.
The Mustangs took the first lead on a 54-yard touchdown pass on a slip screen from Michael Radon (11-of-24, 238 yards) to Daniel Sobkowicz. Dylan Carlquist answered for the Huskies on a 19-yard touchdown pass from Jimmy Makuh to make it 7-6.
After a field goal by Meadows' Lucas Greazal, Clawson had a sweet 45-yard touchdown run off a reverse to make it 13-9.
On the first play after the kickoff, Sobkowcz, who would finish with 177 yards on 7 receptions, took another slip screen and scampered 71 yards to put the Mustangs ahead 16-13.
Clawson's 19-yard catch on a post pattern from Makuh (21-of-28, 225 yards) just before halftime put the Huskies up for good at 20-16.
Clawson had a 1-yard touchdown run in third quarter, padding the Huskies' lead at 26-16. He then followed up by knocking the ball away from Sobkowicz in the end zone.
Meadows' Austin Schmidt blocked a punt and Collin Fennelly fell on it in the end zone to cut the lead to 26-23 late in the third quarter.
Clawson score on a 23-yard touchdown pass to make it 33-23. He then broke Meadows' back when he busted off a 98-yard run to complete the scoring.
"There were two things we knew we had to do going into the game," Rolling Meadows coach Sam Baker said. "One was to stop Clawson. We didn't."