Vincent's 87-yard TD lifts Larkin over Streamwood
Larkin moved the ball up and down the field in the first half, but the Royals found themselves trailing Streamwood 8-0 at halftime.
Larkin turned the ball over twice and ended up being penalized for 103 yards.
But it only took one play to make all of that irrelevant.
With Larkin trailing 8-6 in the fourth period, quarterback Jaheim Vincent narrowly avoided a sack, reversed course, and wove through traffic for an 87-yard touchdown. Chevelle Clements' 2-point conversion run made it 14-6 and the Royals' defense made it stand up as the final score.
Larkin (1-1) broke into the victory column with the Upstate Eight win at Memorial Field.
Larkin rushed for 305 yards, led by Clements, who had 142 yards and the Royals' other touchdown on a 29-yard, third-quarter run. Vincent finished with 91 yards after absorbing a couple of sacks, and Jalen Miller added 56.
"I was just trying to roll out for a pass," Vincent said. "Playmakers sometimes have to make plays so I was just rolling out trying to make something happen. I know it was a close game so I was just trying to make a play and I got it done for the team."
Before that play, the Royals relied heavily on their muscle car. Clements carried the ball 18 times, caught a pass for 14 yards, and recovered an onside kick.
All that work "pays off a lot," he said. "[The offensive linemen] were opening holes wide. I saw green grass, I could just make the cut and execute."
The Royals' defense did the rest, forcing 3 turnovers and holding the Sabres to 163 total yards, all on the ground.
"It was a really hard game," said Hector Flores. "At the end we had to just stay together, push with everything we've got and try to win the game."
Streamwood scored first by taking advantage of one of Larkin's turnovers. After a pass was batted down in the backfield, the Sabres' Jaiden Thomas fell on it. Officials ruled it a lateral and Streamwood took over at the Larkin 3-yard line.
Three plays later, quarterback Aden Strong sneaked it over from the 1. Thomas's run for the conversion made it 8-0.
It looked like that score might hold up until Vincent's wild play.
"You hate it to come down to one play, but that's two games in a row where one play has beaten us," said Streamwood coach Keith McMaster. "That's two great efforts in a row by the defense. Fourteen points, you should win a game."
John Ray ran for 60 yards for Streamwood (0-2). Thomas added 50 and Genaud Phillips had 46.
Vincent also completed 5 of 7 passes for the Royals. He hit three in a row on the Royals' final drive. That drive covered 12 plays and, although the Royals didn't score, it allowed them to run out the clock.