Editor’s note: Read more of Matt Nestor’s coverage of area high school football in the Sept. 7-13 issue.
By Matt Nestor
Prep Sports Reporter
For the second straight week Friday, Sept. 2, the Rockford East E-Rabs took a lead on one of the traditional powers in the conference, the Rockford Guilford Vikings. With 33 seconds left, things seemed to be in good shape for the E-Rabs.
Then, East made the mistake of kicking the ball deep, giving Dontrell Chance an opportunity to make a play. And that is all the explosive senior needed, returning the kickoff 64 yards to tie the game at 20.
“We were in a funk,” Guilford coach Mel Gilfillan said. “They hadn’t kicked the ball deep all game. For some reason, that last one, they kicked it right down the middle to him. As soon as he touched it, we knew he was going to go.”
With a chance to win the game, the Vikings (2-0) then missed the extra point, sending the game into overtime. But Justin Carroll scored from 6 yards out, then the Vikings’ defense recovered a fumble, sealing a crazy win for Guilford.
“It was maybe the craziest football game I’ve ever been around in my entire life,” Gilfillan said. “I was just excited to go to overtime.”
The wild ending overshadowed a great performance by East (0-2). The E-Rabs took a 14-0 lead behind a 32-yard run by Davonte Williams and a touchdown pass by Andrew Lantz to Austin Young.
After Guilford tied the game on a touchdown pass from Nick Hyatte to Alex Trautmann, East responded again. Wes Short, who ran for 110 yards, scored from 2 yards out to give East the lead.
But the Vikings were able to respond. The Vikings now head into their game with Boylan undefeated, but they will remember this East victory when the season is done.
“Our kids took the challenge, and we never gave up,” Gilfillan said. “That’s probably the best East team we’ve played in 10 years.”
In other area action:
• CICS/Longwood pulled one of the bigger upsets of the week, picking off four Rockford Christian passes on their way to a 36-7 win. The Panthers’ offense was also able to roll up more than 300 yards rushing on the Royals.
• Jamar Ellis ran for 102 yards and had 64 yards receiving, scoring three touchdowns as Christian Life bounced back from their opening-week loss to defeat Arlington Heights Christian Liberty 35-0. Jeff Polsean also ran for 179 yards and two touchdowns for the Eagles.
• Jake Milbourn threw for 248 yards and three touchdowns as Rockford Lutheran exploded for 53 points, holding Milwaukee University to 19 in their victory. Tarence Roby also ran for 159 yards and two touchdowns for the Crusaders.
• Winnebago continued putting up basketball scores, putting up 60 in a shutout over Chicago Washington. Two kick returns and two interception returns for touchdowns were key for the Indians, who will face off with Richmond-Burton next week.