Friday, Nov. 12, 2010
By Blake Baumgartner
Having spent much of the year searching for a defining moment, Naperville Norths offense had one final chance.
Unfortunately, that one final chance came up one yard short.
Homewood-Flossmoors defense denied Naperville North senior quarterback Matt LaCosse on a fourth-and-goal from the Vikings 1-yard line with 17.3 seconds left in regulation to preserve a 35-28 victory over the Huskies in a Class 8A quarterfinal Friday night in Naperville.
It was a power to me. I was supposed to get the ball, LaCosse said. I did get the ball and there was a hole. The guy tackled me. It shouldnt have happened. I should have broken that tackle.
The games final sequence featured five offensive plays for Naperville Norths offense from within Homewood-Flossmoors five-yard line, but the Huskies could only manage to come up with four of the five yards they needed.
In a game that featured six straight scoring possessions in the second half as the two offenses went back-and-forth, Homewood-Flossmoors stud running back Malik Norman lived up to the billing.
Norman, who came into the game with 1,811 rushing yards and 28 touchdowns while averaging 7.4 yards per carry, ran for 176 yards and three touchdowns while adding in a 70-yard touchdown reception in for good measure.
Thanks to Normans exploits and the finishing kick from its defense, fourth-seeded Homewood-Flossmoor (10-2) advances to play in a Class 8A semifinal next weekend opposite Mount Carmel.
Trailing 35-28 with 2:54 left in regulation after Norman scored his third rushing touchdown on the night, LaCosse and running back Antonio Owens led the Huskies down the field with nine straight runs, only to be stonewalled by the Vikings defense.
It was a great experience. Unfortunately, we lost, Owens said. Its the worst feeling (your senior year coming to an end). (Normans) a great running back. Our defense played their best and (you) couldnt ask for more.
Owens finished with 182 yards and three touchdowns while a hobbled LaCosse, who hurt his left knee on a sack and ensuing fumble midway through the second quarter, ran for 82 yards and a score for Naperville North (8-4).