Bolingbrook decided it wanted to shut down Kendric Pryor Friday night. Jared Sharp and Bryce Gray made the Raiders pay for that choice.
Gray found Sharp for two long touchdown passes in the fourth quarter, leading No. 14 Homewood-Flossmoor past No. 5 Bolingbrook 35-28 in a SouthWest Suburban Blue showdown in Bolingbrook.
Gray’s 80-yarder to Sharp with 9:00 left gave the Vikings a 28-21 lead. Quincy Woods returned the kickoff 66 yards to the HF 4-yard line and Julian Huff scored from a yard out two plays later to tie the score at 28.
But then Gray and Sharp did it again, this time for a 39-yard touchdown with 6:18 remaining for the final lead change in a wild second half.
It was sweet redemption for H-F (5-2, 4-1), which let double-digit leads slip away in losses to Stevenson and Lincoln-Way East. The script was flipped this time, as Bolingbrook (5-2, 4-1) scored two touchdowns in seven seconds to go up 14-0 in the first quarter.
“We knew we’d face adversity,” Gray said. “We started off slow. All we wanted to do was execute our game plan, and we knew if we did that, we’d win the game.”
“Our kids persevered,” H-F coach Craig Buzea said. “They’re growing up. We could easily be 7-0 and the No. 1 team in the state. I think we hit some bumps in the road and we learned from it.”
The Vikings already had a feeling they had more than one go-to receiver.
“I’ve known since Day 1 I’ve got five, six reliable weapons I can throw the ball to and they’ll make big plays,” said Gray, who was 14-of-21 passing for 279 yards. “Today was Jared’s night and I’m thankful.”
Pryor had five catches for 79 yards before halftime and finished with six for 97. Sharp caught five passes for 172 yards.
“They had their best corner on Kendric, so we decided Sharp is a pretty good alternative,” Buzea said.
Bolingbrook built its lead on a blocked punt and recovery by Jacob Huff that led to his own two-yard touchdown run at 8:00 of the first quarter.
On the next play from scrimmage, Tuf Borland grabbed a fumble and returned it seven yards for a score and a 14-0 Raiders lead.
Deante Harley-Hampton (21 carries, 133 yards) scored from a yard out for H-F and his twin brother Devonte had a one-yard TD run to make it 21-14 at halftime.