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Bloom blanks Rich Central, secures playoff berth

Updated: November 22, 2012 6:37AM



For just the fourth time in school history, Bloom qualified for the football playoffs.

The Blazing Trojans sewed up their first postseason bid since 1989 with a 21-0 Southland victory Friday night over Rich Central in Olympia Fields.

The players jumped, chanted and celebrated after the game.

“We made history!” linebacker Macolm Hurt said. “We came out here and fought with our hearts.”

Hurt had two sacks and an interception in the game while linebacker Dominique Taylor had the lone score in the second half by pouncing on a Rich Central fumble in the end zone in the third quarter.

“I have never felt this good about a football team … I can’t put it in words,” Taylor said. “We’re lovin’ it. It’s great for the school. I pray to God we can do something these playoffs and maybe win a couple of games.”

Justus Brantley had 23 carries for 112 yards and a touchdown and caught a 60-yard pass from Kendall McGinnis to give the Blazing Trojans a 14-0 lead after two possessions.

The Blazing Trojans (6-3, 3-2) were happy to clinch the bid and not finish with a 5-4 campaign which would have put them on the bubble for the playoffs. In 2007 and ’08, they finished 5-4 and both seasons missed the postseason because they didn’t have enough points to qualify.

“I’ve been there before so this was like our first playoff game,” Bloom coach Tony Palombi said.

Bloom’s playoff history is brief. The Blazing Trojans qualified in Class 6A 1984 and lost 57-37 to Romeoville. In 1988, they won the first playoff game in school history with a 32-14 victory over Chicago Vocational but lost 13-6 in overtime in the second round to Homewood-Flossmoor 13-6. In 1989, Bloom moved to class 5A and lost a 30-14 first-round contest to Bradley.

Rich Central finished 3-5, 1-4 after winning two of its first three games. Jeremiah Mitchell threw for 105 yards for the Olympians.



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