FLOSSMOOR, Ill -- Up 21 points heading into the fourth quarter, Homewood-Flossmoor quarterback Timothy Williams knew the game wasn’t over.
“Even with the lead, I kept telling our guys to stay focused and keep battling,” Williams said.
The junior signal caller must have sensed something, as his Vikings watched their three-touchdown lead evaporate with less than 11 minutes left.
“We just let the fourth quarter get away from us, but thankfully we responded late,” said Williams.
Respond they did, defeating Waubonsie Valley, 34-28, in double overtime in the Class 8A football playoffs.
Homewood-Flossmoor dominated the first half, thanks to early rushing touchdowns by Malik Norman and Williams. The Warriors, on the other hand, accumulated only two first downs in the first half, due much in part to the early dominance of the Vikings’ defensive line.
“We did a nice job in the first half, controlling the clock and playing tremendously well defensively,” said Vikings coach Craig Buzea.
After building a 14-0 lead heading into the half, the Vikings picked up where they left off at the start of the third quarter, thanks to a 15-yard touchdown run from Norman. The senior ball carrier finished the night with 190 yards rushing and two touchdowns.
But the Warriors, finally found life on offense, as Devon Morgan’s 1-yard touchdown dive gave Waubonsie Valley a pulse in the fourth quarter.
The very next possession, Williams’ second-down pass was picked off by Waubonsie’s Zach Steele, and the big man rumbled 45 yards to pull his team within eight.
With less than six minutes remaining and inside the Warriors’ 15, the Vikings failed to convert on fourth down, giving possession back to Waubonsie Valley. The Warriors promptly drove 89 yards in 17 plays to tie the game at 21 and send the game into overtime. Both teams tallied seven points on their first possessions; but in the second overtime, a 10-yard touchdown run by Williams followed by a clutch fourth-down stop by Homewood-Flossmoor’s defense sealed the win for the Vikings.
“The resiliency this team showed tonight cannot be overlooked coming off a 1-8 season just a year ago,” Buzea said.
The Vikings move on to face Naperville North.
Player of the game: Timothy Williams, QB Homewood-Flossmoor. Although erratic at times, Williams fueled the team, especially in overtime.
Stat of the game: After being held to zero points on just three possessions in the first half, the Warriors’ offense exploded in the game’s final 11 minutes and in overtime as Waubonsie put up 28 unanswered points.
It was over when… Waubonsie Valley quarterback Tommy Kolzow’s fourth-down pass to Demetrius Gray fell just one yard short of the end zone with the Warriors down six in double overtime.
Quote of the night: “We made sure to get this community…these fans behind us this offseason in hopes that they would support us like they are now. To see it all come together like this is unlike anything I’ve ever been a part of. -- Timothy Williams