Both remaining Fox Valley teams bowed out of the Illinois High School Football Playoffs Saturday.
But they didn’t go down without a fight.
Class 8A: #6 Maine South at #3 Neuqua Valley
In Class 8A, #3 seed Neuqua Valley fell in a thriller to #6 seed Maine South, 14-13, in Naperville.
Down 7-0 at halftime, largely the result of two heartbreaking interceptions in the end zone to snuff out scoring chances, the hosts went down 14-0 early in the third before mounting its comeback.
That comeback was sparked by a beautifully-executed 26-yard fake punt, which set up the Hawks’ first score, pulling them to 14-7 at the end of three quarters.
Neuqua Valley looked poised to tie the game in the fourth after scoring from 3 yards out, but the extra point try failed, leaving the score at 14-13.
That’s where it would end, with the Hawks attempting a desperate 51-yard field goal in the final seconds that fell well short.
Neuqua Valley ended the season at 10-2.
Class 7A: #19 Jacobs at #11 Mt. Prospect
#19 seed Jacobs was hit by a buzzsaw in the first quarter by host Mt. Prospect, and they never recovered, falling 35-21.
Mt. Prospect scored twice in the first minute of play, and a total of 4 times in the first quarter (3 touchdowns and a field goal), to take an 18-0 lead after 1 quarter and never looked back.
The hosts scored on the third play from scrimmage on a 56-yard run, and converted a trick-play conversion to go up 8-0. On the ensuing play after the kickoff, their defense forced a scoop-and score from 15 yards out (PAT successful) to spread the lead to 15-0.
After a stop and short punt, Mt. Prospect hit a 33-yard field goal to lead 18-0 with 7:15 remaining in the first quarter.
It was too much for Jacobs to overcome, with Mt. Prospect using its powerful ground game to wear down the visitors and maintain its lead.
Jacobs ends the season 9-3.