Neuqua Valley back in the second round of the IHSA 8A playoffs for the first time since 2015. The match-up? Homewood Flossmoor. And a little history here. The Vikings booted the Wildcats in the 2014 post-season.
We begin on Neuqua’s opening possession. Mark Gronowski locking in on Sean Larkin and hits his target in stride. And the wide out rumbles his way for a big gain… but the drive ends with a missed field goal.
Now it’s the Vikings with the rock and they’re handing it off to Sean Allen – and Homewood – we have liftoff. The running back finding space and isn’t touched on his way to the moon… or, rather, end zone. 7-0 HF.
So now the Wildcats are playing from behind. Gronowski taking matters into his own hands – taking off to pick up a new set of downs.
It extends the drive, which is big, because Armani Moreno hits the hole off the left tackle and extends the ball across the goal line – it’s all tied up at 7!
Homewood Flossmoor’s turn and they’re throwing out to the flat. QB Dominick Jones gets it to Will Pauling and check out some of the moves to shake free… and then the hurdle. Vikings threatening.
Second quarter now as HF has it near the goal line… and Jones will dial up his own number… and have JUST enough to pierce the goal line. Vikings up 14-7.
Once again, the Wildcats in need of a response. Gronowski will oblige with a dime to Nick Pastore. Pick up of 24 puts em inside the red zone.
Looking to knot the game up, Gronowski tucking, running, juking, spinning… and scoring. The senior quarterback running for 114 yards and that score in the game. It’s 14-all.
But, the Viking rushing attack is spectacular on the night – led by Allen… number 5 just beginning the night – which says something, considering this is his second touchdown to take a 21-14 lead.
Shifting to the third quarter, Jones turns and hands to Allen – which, well – you can’t blame him. Allen making guys miss left and right and then wins the foot race to the painted area. 344 yards rushing and 4 touchdowns – a monster night.
Not to be outdone – already leading 31-14, Jones will keep it himself, electing to split the defense down the middle – big chunk play ends with another Allen score.
Neuqua’s season hanging in the balance, down by 24 with time running out – and speaking of running – Moreno breaking free on the screen. Gets the first down and then some.
And to cap the drive, Moreno plunges in for the 1 yard score – Neuqua trails 38-22
With hope running low and trailing by 16 on the scoreboard, Gronowski throws it up – and the pick will seal the win for HF. The Vikings are moving on with a 38-22 win over Neuqua Valley.
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