Streaks defeat Whip-Purs in close one
The Woodstock High School varsity football team lined up on the field at Hampshire High School Oct. 8 knowing they had to win the last three games of the season to qualify for the playoffs. Three hours later the Blue Streaks had taken the first step in accomplishing their objective, having defeated the Whip-Purs 35-32.
The game did not start off on the right foot for the Streaks who, on their first possession, gave up a safety and then allowed a 5-yard touchdown run which gave the Whip-Purs an early 8-0 lead.
The Streaks (3-4 overall, 2-3 Fox Valley Conference) responded when junior quarterback Alan Hafer connected with junior Mitch Kohley on a 47-yard pass play, which led to a 7-yard touchdown run from junior Mike Santucci at the beginning of the second quarter.
On the Streaks next possession, Hafer took a quarterback keeper 66 yards for a touchdown and senior Brad Bertram scored a 2-point conversion to give the Streaks a 14-8 lead.
The Streaks intercepted the ball three times in the second quarter, once by senior Tyler Purkey and twice by senior Nic Siebert, which led to a 23-yard touchdown pass from Hafer to junior Jordan Sumner and a 28-yard touchdown pass from Hafer to Matt Swedberg with 16 seconds left in the quarter, giving the Streaks a 28-8 halftime lead.
“I thought we played well in the first half and our defense got us some turnovers and then we were able to put some points on the board. …,” said WHS head coach Steve Beard. “The second quarter was fun; much more fun than the third and the fourth.”
The tide turned in the second half. The Whip-Purs unleashed a ferocious running attack that led to three touchdown runs and three 2-point conversions. With 4:35 left in the game, the Streaks found themselves behind 32-28.
The Streaks took over the ball at the 43-yard line and had to convert twice on fourth down to extend the drive. With less than a minute to go in the game, Hafer hit Kohley with an 18-yard touchdown pass to give the Streaks the lead and the win.
“It was just crazy,” said an enthusiastic Hafer who completed 12 of 19 passes for 193 yards. “We all pulled together as a team. It was a total team effort.”
“I was just overwhelmed with excitement,” Kohley said. “The first thing I wanted to do was hug Alan. He threw a great pass and had a great game. … It was just so exciting. The offense kept great composure.”
The Whip-Purs held the Streaks to 117 yards rushing on 29 carries, but most of that came on the 66-yard touchdown from Hafer, and Beard said Hampshire did a nice job of making his team one-dimensional.
“They took away our run,” Beard said. “Hampshire had a nice game plan for us. … Coach [Dan] Cavanaugh does a nice job and his players could have easily won the game just as easily as we did. The game could have gone to either team tonight, and we’re just very pleased it went our way.”
Beard said he was proud of how his players responded under pressure.
“I thought there were some players on the team tonight who, when we needed them to make a play, they made a play, defensively and offensively,” Beard said.
The Streaks turn their attention to their next opponent, Huntley High School. The Red Raiders lost 41-14 to Cary-Grove Oct. 5 and are currently 4-3 and 4-1 in the FVC.
Hafer said the team needs to concentrate on what’s right in front of them.
“We talked in practice that it’s just one game at a time,” Hafer said. “If we can win out, we can make the playoffs, and we just need to take it one game at a time.”
WHS will host Huntley at 7 p.m. Friday, Oct. 12, at Larry Dale Field.