Turnovers help Titans move to championship
By Matt Nestor
The Boylan Titans scored 14 points in the first half, then held on to defeat Crystal Lake Prairie Ridge 14-7 to move on to the IHSA Class 6A State Championship game for the first time in 35 years.
“It’s incredible, we’re making history for our school,” Boylan’s Chris Miller said after the game. “We’ve worked so hard, we’re just glad we can all be apart of it right now.”
The Titans went up on the first drive of the game when they efficiently marched the ball 71 yards down the field, capped by a 6-yard touchdown by quarterback Lamont Toney.
Following a Prairie Ridge turnover late in the second quarter, Boylan took over on their own 49. They again moved the ball well, converting a fourth-and-4 and eating up almost all of the final 4minutes of the first half to take a 14-0 halftime lead on a 1-yard touchdown by Aaron Einhorn.
The Wolves responded on the opening drive of the second half, going 80 yards in 10 plays to cut the lead in half, 14-7, on an 8-yard touchdown by quarterback Steven Covalt.
“Their offense started moving our defensive line off the ball a little bit,” Titans defensive lineman Dean Lowry said. “We came back after that series and we regrouped and did a good job.”
The Titans were able to hold on in spite of two turnovers in the second half. The reason for that was because the Boylan defense was able to cause three second-half turnovers of their own, five total for the game.
The Wolves fumbled on three of their last four possessions. One of their turnovers followed a Boylan turnover and their final offensive play of the game was a fumble that allowed Boylan to seal the victory.
“In spite of those two fumbles, I still feel like we did a lot of good things running the ball and moving the chains,” Boylan coach Dan Appino said. “Defensively, striking the guys and making them put the ball on the ground.”
The Titans will play for the championship at 1 p.m., Saturday, Nov. 27, on the campus of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.
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