Football: Lincoln-Way East fends off Lincoln-Way Central 17-12
By Tony Baranek firstname.lastname@example.org September 6, 2013 11:12PM
Lincoln-Way East's Mike Weller is wrapped up by Lincoln-Way Central's Brandon Egan. | Judy Fidkowski~For Sun-Times Media
Updated: October 9, 2013 7:37PM
Marcus Cosby was looking to change the momentum.
He wound up changing a game.
Cosby’s 91-yard kickoff return to start the second half was just what host Lincoln-Way East needed to erase some early mistakes and go on to beat Lincoln-Way Central 17-12 on Friday.
The win was East’s 13th straight over Central, including the postseason, dating to 2002.
It didn’t come easily.
East had to overcome four fumbles, two by the special teams that directly led to a pair of Central touchdowns.
On the flip side, the special teams came up big twice, once on a blocked punt by Zach Hoffman that led to a 27-yard field goal at the end of the first half by Anthony Sciarini, and then Cosby’s return (followed by a Sciarini PAT), which put the Griffins (2-0) in front for the first time, 10-6.
“I was just trying to get us some momentum,” Cosby said. “I was looking straight in the middle to where the gap was, and I just took it.”
Earlier, Central (1-1) went in front when after Bryce Gorman recovered a fumbled punt at the East 25, Knights quarterback Cale Hayes found Cam Post for a 15-yard TD pass.
East responded to the score with an 84-yard drive, highlighted by runs of 26 and 17 yards by Brian Casey and a 25-yard quarterback draw on fourth down by Jordan Wirtz. A fumble by Wirtz at the 1, however, was recovered by Central’s Gorman.
“We’ve got to get it cleaned up,” Wirtz said. “We’ve got to work hard in practice, and get the nerves out. We’ll be better next week.”
After Cosby put the Griffins in front, they extended the lead to 17-6 when after a blocked punt by Deji Olaleye was recovered at the Central 1, Wirtz sneaked in for a score.
East made things interesting in the fourth quarter when another miscue on a punt return was recovered by Central’s Tyler Hosman. The Knights went 34 yards in six plays, the finale a 1-yard plunge by Hayes. The 2-point attempt, a pass, failed.
East then was pinned deep in its own territory, but a 67-yard punt by Luke Lizen kept Central from getting good field position.
Brian Casey had 72 yards on 11 carries for East. Central had 121 yards worth of offense, 84 of which came via passing yards by Hayes.
In the end, despite 10 fumbles in two games, East is 2-0 going into its SouthWest Suburban Blue opener next week against Stagg.
“We play as a team,” Cosby said. “We turn the ball over, we come out there with rage, and we just play football. We’re happy with the win.”