Wright's defensive TD lifts West Chicago over Larkin
Mason Wright was not about to forgo his chance for glory.
But the West Chicago defensive lineman had his moments.
"I tried to pick it up but couldn't grab it at first," Mason said.
Mason was referring to a loose football deep in Larkin territory.
Mason eventually found his bearings, scooped up the fumble and rumbled 18 yards to tie the Upstate Eight Conference game in the waning seconds of the third quarter Thursday night in West Chicago.
Alejandro Resendiz was the ultimate difference as his subsequent extra point enabled the Wildcats to turn back the Royals 15-14.
"I came off the edge, and someone knocked the ball loose," Mason said of the key play to the game. "After I picked up the ball I just saw grass and was able to score the touchdown."
Larkin (0-3, 0-3) had plenty of time and options to reverse its deficit.
West Chicago (1-2, 1-2), though, came through again on the Royals' two principal fourth-quarter drives.
The Wildcats had a huge collaborative effort to strip a Larkin ball carrier who was lunging for first-down yardage on a do-or-die forth-down run.
The Wildcats would recover at their own 3-yard line.
On the Royals' last-ditch possession of the game, the Wildcats forced a fourth forfeiture on downs of the contest.
Two knees later, West Chicago was in the win column.
Trailing 14-0 at halftime, West Chicago used the running game to halve its deficit in the third.
Rotating quarterbacks Resendiz and Dylan Krupp gathered ample yardage for the Wildcats with effective keepers.
West Chicago feature back Marco Calderon brought the Wildcats within 14-8 on their first second-half possession with a 1-yard plunge and two-point running conversion.
West Chicago took the lead for good when Mason delivered from his defensive end spot moments later.
Jamarion Stubbs score all 14 Larkin points.
An athletic halfback, Stubbs' 9-yard second-quarter touchdown was preceded by a 4-yard sweep on the Royals' opening possession of the first quarter.
Stubbs also added a 2- point conversion after his first touchdown.