CHICAGO -- In Friday night's matchup between a pair of powerful offenses, it was Homewood-Flossmoor's defense that rose to the occasion as the Vikings defeated Marist to advance to the second round of the Class 8A playoffs on Friday night.
H-F quarterback Tim Williams snuck in for three touchdowns in the 48-28 victory.
The offensive duel started when the Vikings struck on first possession with a Williams 3 yard run to make it 7-0. Marist, which had scored in its two previous games, answered back with two touchdowns -- a 36 yard score by Peter Andreotti and a touchdown pass to Nic Weishar to make 14-7 to Marist.
The Redhawks took the lead twice, but the Vikings fought back to make it 21-21 at the half after TDs by Taje Smith and Williams again.
"The plan was to get at least 200 yard rushing, and then our passing game would just fall into place", Williams said.
In the second half, the game belonged to Homewood-Flossmoor. At the start the Vikings capitalized on a fumble by Marist receiver Ryan Carroll, after a fantastic catch. That error led to a 35 yard run and an Anfernee Roberts TD, giving the Vikings a 28-21 lead.
Homewood-Flossmoor pressured on, picking up two more; one on a Gerald Butler 9-yard reception, a second TD from Roberts and the last from Williams' third QB sneak.
"Coach said they'd be calling my number a lot to use my legs and I told them I got 'em," Williams said. "We wanted to establish the run pretty much."
Nic Weishar, who had 179 receiving yards, two TDs and an interception for the Redhawks, scored Marist's sole touchdown in the second half.
Player of the game: Williams, whose three TDs and cool demeanor let the Vikings dominate at their own pace.
The game was over when: The Redhawks started making second half mistakes, leading to a 35-yard fumble return and a pick for the Vikings.
Stat of the game: The Vikings found the end zone seven times.
Play of the game: The Vikings' Eric Hewlett intercepted a Woodworth pass taking it down to Marist's 1 yard line, which let HF go up by three TDs.
Quote of the game: Marist coach Pat Dunne, "Our guys gave 100 percent every time. I think our guys got the biggest heart [in the Catholic League] without a doubt."
What it means: After a season of hard-fought surprise wins, Marist is out. Homewood-Flossmoor advances in the 8A playoffs.