Naperville Central football hosts Lincoln-Way East at Memorial Stadium where the Redhawks beat the Griffins in a thriller. This highlight is sponsored by BMO Harris Bank.
After a 14-2 win over Hinsdale Central, Naperville Central football returns home to Memorial Stadium for their fall opener. The Hawks have a big test in front of them in the form of the defending 8A State Champs, the Lincoln-Way East Griffins. A team that comes in with a record of 47-1 record since 2016 and holds a 21 game winning streak!
Hawks look to make a splash early on and they do. Owen Prucha delivers a 40-yard rainbow to Reggie Fleurima setting up the Redhawks for a field goal to go up 3-0.
Ensuing kickoff and here is Cade Serauskis from Lincoln-Way who gets a nice return, but Redhawk kicker Seth Lendzion throws him down for the touchdown saving tackle. However, the Griffins have great field position.
First play after the kickoff is a handoff to Jame Kwiecinski, who bursts through the hole and he is gone for a 53-yard touchdown. Just like that the Griffins take a 7-3 lead with half a minute left in the 1st quarter.
2nd quarter now and the visitors continue to move the ball. QB Brennan Stolarek finds Trey Johnson for a first down putting the Black and Blue in the red zone.
First and goal and it’s Johnson on the Wildcat and he takes it in for a touchdown with no problem. It’s a double-digit lead for the Griffins up 14-3.
However, we’re still getting started. Prucha on the play action throws a bomb and guess who comes down with it? It’s Reggie Fleurima. A 47-yard play sets up the Hawks deep in Lincoln-Way territory.
Can Central find the endzone? They do with a Prucha TD pass to James Jopes making it 14-10 LWE. The Griffins tack on a field goal to take a 17-10 lead into halftime.
3rd quarter and the Hawks facing third and goal. It’s no problem with Prucha and Fleurima. Touchdown Naperville Central as we have a tie game at 17 heading into the 4th quarter.
Central with the ball, but it’s a bad snap. Prucha tries to make a play, but the senior probably should have hung on to this one. That’s why. DJ Ritter with the interception, setting up the Griffins in Redhawk territory.
Time for the Central defense to step up once again. On 4th down, Mike Geiger blows up James Kwiecinski to force the turnover on downs, giving the ball back to the home team. Game still tied at 17.
On first down Prucha finds Fleurima on the wide receiver screen. The Northwestern commit picks up 15 yards setting the Hawks up near midfield.
4th down now for Central and Prucha finds James Jopes for a massive pick up. Hawks are still alive and driving in Griffin territory.
Less than five seconds on the clock, Redhawks at the Lincoln-Way 13 yard line. Seth Lendzion with a chance to win it. The snap and hold are good and Lendzion’s kick is up and good at the buzzer. Naperville Central takes down Lincoln-Way on the final play. Redhawks are 2-0 after the 20-17 victory. It’s the first loss in nearly three years for the Griffins.
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