Looking back at a wild 59-58 game
Bartlett athletic director Jeff Bral soon may have to replace some bulbs on his school's outdoor scoreboard following the Hawks' 59-58 Upstate Eight Conference football victory over Streamwood last weekend.
During one of the more memorable games in recent history, the two teams marched up and down the field throughout, providing huge, scoring plays in all 3 phases -- offense, defense and special teams.
When it was all said and done, the Hawks and Sabres combined for 117 points, 17 touchdowns, 40 first downs, 977 total yards of offense, five 2-point conversions and five extra-point kicks.
Bartlett senior tailback James Knight carried the ball 6 times for 209 yards -- an amazing 34.8-yard average -- and 3 touchdowns covering 69, 50 and 37 yards.
The electrifying 5-11, 180-pounder also added an 83-yard kickoff return for a touchdown in the opening quarter and capped the night with a 16-yard run around the left side, converting a key 4th-and-5 play from midfield with 2 minutes remaining during the Hawks' eventual go-ahead drive.
"James played like a man tonight," said Bartlett coach Matt Erlenbaugh.
Hawks senior quarterback Jacob Scearce completed 7 of 13 passes for 131 yards and 4 touchdowns, 3 of which were hauled in by senior receiver Gabe Bemont, who finished with 5 catches for 114 yards, including the game-winning 34-yard TD reception with 1:39 remaining.
Bartlett, which amassed 462 yards on offense, added a defensive score when Jalen Davis scooped up a loose ball -- after a forced fumble hit from teammate Anthony Verges -- and ran 15 yards for a TD in the first quarter.
The Hawks also cashed in late in the third quarter when Scearce's pass caromed off Davis' body right into the waiting hands of teammate Bryce Kim for a 6-yard TD to give Bartlett a 45-44 lead heading into the fourth quarter.
"I've never experienced anything like that," admitted Erlenbaugh of the game that featured 7 lead changes.
Three touchdowns were scored in a 21-second span late in the first quarter -- a 3-yard TD run by Streamwood's Isaac Martinez (2:00), Knight's 83-yard kick return (1:45), and Davis' 15-yard fumble return (1:39).
Streamwood's triple-option ground game generated 515 yards -- 509 of those yards provided by the 3-pronged rushing attack of Martinez (29 carries, 226 yards, 5 TDs, three 2-point conversions), Michael Estrada (33 carries, 196 yards, 2 TDs, two 2-point conversions), and Taro Ishikawa (18 carries, 87 yards, 1 TD).
"Our offense and defense -- it's meant to be a team effort," said Sabres coach Keith McMaster. "If you see our offense running, even our quarterback (Kevin Lunz) makes blocks. Everybody is a part of the plays."
Displaying great vision, Martinez, Estrada and Ishikawa ran behind offensive linemen Jace Wolf, Eric Gomez, Jojo Chamopoulos, Giovani Zaragoza and Richard Rodriguez.
"Their offensive line was moving the line of scrimmage," said Erlenbaugh of the Sabres. "We had a tough time keeping our pad level low and tackling -- which is why they had 58 points."
The Hawks' opening offensive series included a missing man formation in an emotional tribute to Bartlett junior offensive lineman Alex Czerwik, who died following an automobile accident last month.
Officials flagged the Hawks for delay of game, but the Sabres declined the penalty.