Football: Crete-Monee defeats Rich Central 27-26 in OT
By Pat Disabato firstname.lastname@example.org October 26, 2013 7:06PM
Updated: November 28, 2013 6:31AM
With the Southland Conference championship on the line Saturday, Crete-Monee’s defense, like it often has this season, rose to the occasion against Rich Central.
The Warriors and Olympians traded touchdowns in overtime. The difference, however, was that Crete-Monee scored first and converted the extra-point kick for a 27-20 lead.
The Olympians followed with a touchdown and, faced with the decision to go for the tie and force a second overtime or attempt a two-point conversion and nail down the win, Rich Central chose to go for broke.
In the process, Crete-Monee’s defense broke Rich Central’s heart.
Running back Ahmad McClellan ran into a wall of Warriors defenders at the three-yard line, igniting a wild celebration as Crete-Monee survived a 27-26 win over host Rich Central.
The conference championship was Crete-Monee’s sixth in a row, dating to 2008 when it competed in the old SICA South. The win also extended the Warriors’ conference winning streak to 32 games. Crete-Monee (8-1, 5-0) hasn’t lost a conference game since Week 7 of the 2007 season to Rich East.
“We had to fight for this win,” Crete-Monee linebacker Nyles Morgan said. “We had some guys step up.”
The Warriors trailed 20-6 entering the fourth quarter. But a 1-yard touchdown run by quarterback Frank Douglas closed the gap to 20-12 with 8:10 remaining in regulation. The PAT was blocked.
Crete-Monee eventually would get the ball back and drove to the Rich Central 10-yard line. The Olympians defense, though, stood tall and forced the Warriors to turn the ball over on downs with 3:18 left.
The Olympians (8-1, 4-1) advanced the ball to their own 39 and appeared in good position to put the game away. But on a first-and-10, Central fumbled and Crete-Monee recovered with 1:37 to go in regulation.
The costly turnover led to a 3-yard touchdown run by the Warriors’ Trevon Smith with 47 seconds remaining. Crete-Monee still had to convert its two-point try, which it did on a Douglas to Clint Ratkovich pass, tying the game 20-20.
“We’ve been in situations like this before and we found a way to win,” Crete-Monee coach John Konecki said. “We’ve been doing it all year.”
It was a stunning turn of events for Rich Central.
“It’s a tough loss for the kids,” Olympians coach Terrell Alexander said. “The good thing is we have another opportunity (playoffs) to learn from this.”
Just 16 seconds into the game, Douglas fumbled and Iyenoma Ogbomoh scooped up the ball and raced 30 yards for the touchdown and 6-0 lead.
Rich Central added a 21-yard touchdown pass by Michael Hoover to Breon Glass for a 12-0 advantage after one quarter.
Crete-Monee responded when Douglas found Kevon Love on an 11-yard touchdown toss with 38 seconds remaining in the first half to trim the deficit to 12-6.
Rich Central, however, opened up a 20-6 lead when McClellan burst in from four yards out with 6:21 left in the third quarter.