Boylan comes up short in state playoffs

Boylan Titans eliminated in quarterfinals of state playoffs by Lake Zurich Bears in 24-20 loss

The 2006 Boylan High School football season has come to a close. The Titans were eliminated from the state class 7A playoffs Saturday, Nov. 11, losing to the Lake Zurich Bears 24-20.

The game truly was a tale of two halves. Boylan senior quarterback Jake Smolinski and the offense were held scoreless during the first two quarters. The Boylan defense was suspect as they surrendered three touchdowns and a field goal in the first 24 minutes. So concluded the first half.

During halftime, Boylan head coach Dan Appino gave the team a “this game is about character” speech, and the team seemed to hear the message as they responded with an impressive second-half rally.

The Boylan defense began to show the strength of their collective character when they came out fired up and held the Bears’ offense scoreless for the remainder of the game. They also helped set up the first Boylan score as they recovered a fumble at the Bears’ 19-yard line.

Things then began to click for the offense. On the first play from scrimmage following the turnover, the never-say-die running back Robert Wood took the hand-off from Smolinski and rumbled 19 yards for his first of two second-half rushing touchdowns.

After a Bears’ punt, the offense began another impressive scoring drive. This one would end with running back Alex Murphy scoring on a 1-yard run to cut the lead to 24-14. Wood capped another Boylan drive with a 9-yard touchdown run. This time, the extra point was wide right and Boylan trailed by 4 points with a little more than 5 minutes remaining in the contest.

The Bears recovered the following onside kick. After managing to gain a couple of first downs and run the clock all the way down to the 1:13 mark, they turned the ball over on downs as Boylan’s defense stopped them on fourth and less than a yard.

The offense came onto the field and had 83 yards to go and no timeouts left. Unfortunately, that obstacle was too large for character alone to overcome. The Titans’ season came to a close on a fourth and long pass that ended up being intercepted.

The Bears will move on to play Mt. Prospect in the state semifinal round this weekend.

Doug Halberstadt can be reached via e-mail at

From the Nov. 15-21, 2006, issue

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