Breaking It Down: When Joe Hehir lined up for a 42-yard field goal with 8 seconds left in regulation to break a 14-14 tie with T-F South, Lemont fans had reason to feel confident. Even though the kicker had missed an attempt in the second quarter, Hehir had connected on over 50-yard field goals previously. He won the game for Lemont in a similar situation just a week earlier.
But, he could only put his head down, as he walked back to the Lemont sideline after watching his kick bounce off the field goal post's bottom crossbar.
T-F South was able to take advantage of its new life in overtime, and took a 21-14 lead after Joe Young broke a tackle on his way to a 2-yard touchdown. Lemont's offense did not flinch, scoring on a Mitch Balek 5-yard touchdown run. Right before T-F South's offense went back on the field, the unthinkable happened. Hehir, who was the team hero last week after making a game winning field goal, missed his extra point attempt wide right, as Lemont fell to T-F South by a final of 21-20.
Patch’s MVP: Mitch Balek, Lemont. Balek was the only offensive threat Lemont had all evening. He rushed for 171 yards on 26 carries, and accounted for all three of Lemont's touchdown scores. What makes these stats more impressive is how Balek was able to be so effective, despite the passing game failing to gain over 60 yards total.
Lemont Stat Pack: Connor O'Brien had more than 10 tackles, including all three on T-F South's first offensive possesion of the game, and two sacks. Joe Sambucci caught two passes for 35 yards. Zack Brosseau completed 2-of-7 passes for 22 yards in the first half. Michael Larkins rushed for 42 yards on 7 carries.
T-F South Stat Pack: Peyton Padjen and Saleem Sanford combined to complete 6-of-13 of their passes for 111 yards. Sanford also rushed for 67 yards on 12 carries. James Bucksath recorded a sack, and rushed for over twenty yards. Drakkar Frazier was targeted on seven pass attempts, and caught two of them for 61 yards, including a touchdown. T-F South committed 7 of its 8 penalities in the second half.
Quotable I: “I'd take Joe [Hehir] any day," O'Brien said of his team's kicker. "There wouldn't be anyone else I'd want to kick that ball except Joe."
Quotable II: “A year ago we were sitting at 1-5 at this point,” T-F South head coach Tom Padjen said. "We finished strong last year, and our seniors worked hard to make sure this was a successful year."
Team Records: Lemont is 5-1 and 2-1 in the South Suburban Blue. T-F South is 5-1 and 4-0 in the South Suburban Blue.
What’s Next: T-F South moves on to host Breman on Oct. 5. Lemont plays at Hillcrest on Oct. 5 with a 6:45 p.m. kickoff.
Scores of Interest: Tinley Park 17, Bremen 14. Oak Forest 49, Hillcrest 12. For more scores, go to IHSAScoreZone.