Breaking It Down: Coming back from a 13-0 deficit against a 9-1 opponent in a road playoff game is no easy task, Lemont head football coach Eric Michaelsen told his team in his post-game pep-talk to the Indians. But his players were able to find a way to do just that, defeating Richards 23-19, led by their quarterback Zach Brosseau, who completed his first six passes of the second half after connecting on only five of them in the first two quarters.
Richards quarterback Hasan Muhammad-Rogers was a significant reason the Bulldogs had the lead into the final minutes of the first half and stayed competitive for the majority of the evening. He threw touchdown passes of 54 and 52-yards to Tacari Carpenter, plus scrambled for a 20-yard touchdown run in the third quarter.
However, he also threw three interceptions and fumbled on three occasions.
If not for the 12 penalties the Indians committed, which cost them over 100 total yards, Lemont could have won by an even wider margin.
Patch’s MVP: Connor O'Brien, Lemont. When the Indians found themselves down big early in the first half, it was obvious that Lemont needed to force turnovers if they planned on having a chance at winning the game. Linebacker Connor O'Brien recovered two fumbles that both led to Indian touchdowns. O'Brien, who was seen making tackles from sideline to sideline throughout the contest, was also one of a handful of Indian defenders that sacked Muhammad-Rogers for a safety.
Lemont Stat Pack: Zack Brosseau completed 19-of-29 passes for 213 yards, including one tochdown and one interception. He also scored a 6-yard rushing touchdown on the Indians' first drive of the second half. Drew Slee had 8 receptions for 63 yards, one of which was an 8-yard touchdown on third-and-goal with less than a minute remaining in the first half. Christos Giatrias rushed for 79 yards on 24 carries. Drew Hayes intercepted a pass and returned it over 50-yards. Joe Hehir and Matt Luzzo picked off passes, as well.
Richards Stat Pack: After throwing for 134 yards in the first half, Muhammad-Rogers threw for only nine yards in the final two quarters. He rushed for 87 yards on eight carries. Out of the six passes Muhammad-Rogers completed, four of them were caught by Carpenter for 124 yards. Tommy Mister rushed for 38 yards on 10 carries. Davelle Fox made over five tackles, and recovered a fumble.
Quotable I: “I just felt more comfortable with the offense," Zach Brosseau said of his success when Lemont switched to a spread offense in the second half. "We spread them out a little bit with making some easy passes; making easy decisions.”
Quotable II: "We've got a lot a seniors, and the coaches that I coach with weren't going to let them quit," Michaelsen said. "And you don't know what's going to happen."
Quotable III: “It hurts really bad, especially for these seniors," Richards head coach Tony Sheehan said. "When you got them down 13-0, you got to close the door. You can't have that many turnovers.”
Team Records: Lemont is 10-1. Richards is 9-2.
What’s Next: While Richards' season is over, Lemont will move on to face the Oak Forest Bengals next weekend, after they defeated Shepard 69-29.
IHSA 6A Scores: Notre Dame 35, Steinmets 8; Lake Forest 23, Lakes 21; Crystal Lake Central 30, Grant 13; Crete Monee 35, Richwoods 32. For more scores, check out IHSA ScoreZone.