7A First-Round Results
No. 16 Elk Grove (5-4) at No. 1 Glenbard West (9-0) (SAT.)
No. 9 Libertyville 48, No. 8 Harlem 29
No. 13 Prospect 35,
No. 4 Glenbrook North 14
No. 5 Wheaton North 41,
No. 12 St. Charles East 13
No. 15 Jacobs (5-4) No. 2 Boylan (9-0) (SAT.)
No. 10 Huntley (6-3) at No. 7 Fenwick (7-2) (SAT.)
No. 14 Willowbrook (6-3)
at No. 3 Hononegah (8-1) (SAT.)
No. 11 Crystal Lake South (6-3)
at No. 6 Lake Zurich (7-2) (SAT.)
No. 8 Downers Grove North 38,
No. 1 Batavia 26
No. 5 Thornton 23, No. 4 T.F. South 21
No. 2 Benet 24, No. 7 Andrew 10
No. 3 Oswego 28, No. 6 Plainfield North 21
No. 1 L-W East 47,
No. 8 Plainfield Central 22
No. 4 Providence 44, No. 5 Bradley 7
No. 7 Pekin (6-3) at No. 2 Edwardsville (8-1) (SAT.)
No. 6 Belleville West (6-3)
at No. 3 East St. Louis (7-2) (SAT.)
Updated: November 29, 2012 6:36AM
With 8 minutes, 46 seconds left in the fourth quarter, T.F. South quarterback Peyton Padjen scored on a quarterback sneak to give his team its first lead of the night, 21-17 over visiting Thornton.
The Wildcats didn’t get down. Instead, they followed with easily their best drive of the night.
They marched 64 yards on eight plays, ending with a 4-yard keeper by JoWahn Brown. The TD run gave the Wildcats the lead back for good and an eventual 23-21 victory in first-round action of the Class 7A state playoffs.
“We have grown up with this group since they were sophomores,” Thornton coach Bill Mosel said. “You go through some growing pains but this is what we eventually strive for.”
With the win, the Wildcats (8-2) will host Downers Grove North in Round 2. The Rebels (7-3) end a rebound season after missing the state playoffs in 2011 for the second time in 14 years.
The Rebels had two drives to score after Brown’s eventual game-winner. The first drive ended at the Wildcats 35 on a fourth-and-11 on an incomplete pass by Padjen directed at Drakkar Frazier. The timing pass to the sideline was thrown just out of his reach and out of bounds.
The second drive that started with 51.1 seconds left never produced a first down after Padjen rotated with Danny Janowski after getting crushed on an incomplete pass by a pair of Wildcats lineman. Padjen had to leave the game after the trainers attended to him but eventually came back for one last play, which was intercepted by Jason Towns — his second of the game.
“We’ve wanted a home playoff game this whole year and we’re getting one,” said Brown, who finished 10-of-16 for 124 yards, including a 7-yard TD pass to Jauan Wesley.
Brown scored on a 6-yard run in the first quarter to give his team a 7-0 lead. Wildcats kicker Saul Ramirez connected on a 27-yard field goal to end the first half and send them into the locker room with a 17-7 lead.
Jamal Brown didn’t figure in the scoring, but did most of the dirty work, finishing with 158 yards on 27 carries. Saleem Sanford had an interception for the Rebels, while 6-foot-2, 290-pound Jerome Jenkins had two sacks for the Wildcats.
“Our kids played our hearts out and that’s all I can ask for,” T.F. South coach Tom Padjen said.