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Football: Richards goes overtime to beat Lincoln-Way North 12-6 in 6A

Romeo JohnsRichards takes handoff from quarterback Hasan Muhammad Rogers runs inraSaturday night. | Jeff Vorva/For Sun-Times Media

Romeo Johnson, of Richards, takes a handoff from quarterback Hasan Muhammad Rogers and runs into the rain Saturday night. | Jeff Vorva/For Sun-Times Media

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Richards quarterback Hasan Muhammad-Rogers said he experienced a “Jordan moment.”

Muhammad-Rogers took the ball on the first play of overtime, said he picked up “the greatest block I’ve ever seen in my life” from receiver Ryan Willett and ran it in from 10 yards for the game-winning touchdown in a 12-6 Class 6A quarterfinal victory over Lincoln-Way North on a rain-soaked Saturday night in Oak Lawn.

Then he turned around.

“I saw the players coming at me to celebrate,” he said. “One of the coaches told me I just had a (Michael) Jordan moment. I couldn’t believe it.’’

The Bulldogs (11-1) will head to East St. Louis next week to play in the state semifinals for the first time since 2001.

Richards was losing 6-0 for most of the game but Muhammad-Rogers turned a broken play into a 19-yard scoring run with 1 minute, 42 seconds left in the game. The ball was snapped and hit the wet grass and the junior went to work.

“I was going to make a throw, but once I saw the hole, I took off and broke the first two tackles and hit the corner and kept going,” he said. “I’ve never played in weather this bad before. It was kind of fun. Well, maybe not in the first half when I couldn’t grip the ball.”

North (10-2) got the ball first in overtime and tried a field goal but Richards’ Tacari Carpenter got a paw on the attempt and blocked it.

North came in with the momentum of a locomotive in the form of an offensive line that helped Julian Hylton lead the area in rushing with 2,395 yards and 32 touchdowns in nine regular-season and two playoff games.

Host Richards’ stubborn defense also came into the game with some steam. It allowed 1,897 total yards and just 723 yards on the ground and had pitched six shutouts, including two in the playoffs. The Bulldogs came into the game outscoring opponents 75-0 in the postseason.

Something had to give and it ended up being Hylton’s explosiveness. Thanks to the rain, a slippery field and the Bulldogs defense, he was held to 133 yards on 48 carries in his final game at North.

“It was a good game against a good team,” he said. “It was tough running tonight. It was a great season and I still love all my teammates.”

It was the first time in the six-year history of the Phoenix program that it made it to the quarterfinals.

Quarterback Ryan Arthur’s 1-yard bolt in the first quarter helped give the Phoenix the early lead.



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