The Football Playoffs Quarterfinal is at Neuqua Valley High School where Maine South holds on for the victory. This highlight is sponsored by BMO Harris Bank.
Neuqua Valley is back in the quarterfinals for only the third time since 2012 and a win puts them in the semifinals for just the second time with the first also coming in 2012. They take on the Maine South Hawks who look to get back to the semifinals after their last appearance in 2017.
No scoring in the first quarter, so we go to the second. Mark Mennecke just gets it away to find Cole Dutkovich behind the defense. It’s a 49-yard pass play putting the Wildcats in enemy territory.
Neuqua looking to score as Mennecke rolls out, but Maine South’s Kieran Hopkins picks off the pass in traffic.
It’s third down for the Hawks as Rowan Keefe throws it up and Mike Sajenki comes down with the leaping catch for a gain of 22 yards.
Ball is now in enemy territory. Keefe throws a pass that somehow finds the hands of Nick Gournis who is off and running for a 36-yard touchdown. 7-0 Maine South into the break.
Third quarter with the Hawks on their opening drive. Keefe throws it downfield to tight end Chris Petrucci. The Northwestern commit takes the rock 80 yards for the score and Maine South opens up a 14-0 lead.
Neuqua is on to punt or are they? Palmer Domschke takes off running picking up 20 yards on the fake punt for a key first down getting his side all fired up.
The Wildcats looking to build momentum. Mennecke throws a wide receiver screen to Carter Sessa and the senior pass catcher picks up 20 yards on the play putting the blue and gold at first and goal.
Fourth and goal and the drive ends with a Jaden McGee touchdown run to make it 14-7.
Fourth quarter as Maine South tries to put it away. Keefe throws a pass to Frank Bartell who loses control at the last second. That’s a turnover on downs and it’s Neuqua football.
Cats with the ball and Mennecke shows off his speed. After avoiding defenders, the junior runs for a gain of 30 yards on the play putting his team in enemy territory.
Neuqua looks to inch closer. Mennecke runs again and picks up a first, but has to step off the field for an injury. That means backup QB RJ Cluxton steps in for the blue and gold.
This time Palmer Domschke takes the handoff and he gets into the end zone to make it 14-13.
Wildcats need the point after to tie it, but Domschke’s kick is off the upright and no good. Maine South holds on for the 14-13 victory. Up next is Marist in the semifinals.
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