Deante Harley-Hampton’s four scores lead H-F over Neuqua Valley

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When Homewood-Flossmoor junior running back Deante Harley-Hampton gets loose in the open field, there are few players who can catch him.

Neuqua Valley found that out Friday night. Harley-Hampton rushed for 236 yards and four touchdowns to lead host Homewood-Flossmoor to a 41-20 win over Neuqua Valley in a Class 8A

first-round tilt.

The third seeded Vikings (8-2) advance to the second round to play the winner between seventh seed Belleville East and second seed


“I had to break them off and score for my team,” Harley-Hampton said. “It feels great. We’ve worked hard for each other.”

Harley-Hampton had some help in the form of his twin brother, Devonte, who added 106 yards rushing. But it was Deante Harley-Hampton’s touchdown runs of 45, 63 and 42 yards, along with a 10-yard TD reception and an interception, that catapulted the Vikings to victory.

“I compete with my brother, but it’s for the best of us,” said Deante

of his brother. “I was more excited about the interception. I’m used

to scoring touchdowns.”

While the Vikings offense did their thing, the defense stepped up,

limiting Neuqua Valley (6-4) to one score in the second half.

That was music to the ears of H-F coach Craig Buzea.

“Our defense really made a statement in the second half,” Buzea said. “You play a team from the north suburbs, with some big boys, it’s a challenge for our defense. But they stepped up.”

Neuqua Valley trailed 14-13 llate in the second quarter and had the

ball at the H-F 13. But on a third and two, Desmond Bland sacked

quarterback Broc Rutter for a nine-yard loss. An incompletion on

fourth down resulted in a missed opportunity for the Wildcats.

“We rolled out into the strength of their defense,” Neuqua Valley

coach Bill Ellinghaus. “If I had an opportunity to change the play, I


Deante Harley-Hampton’s 42-yard TD run gave the Vikings a 21-13 lead at 10:26 of the third quarter.

Neuqua Valley countered on its ensuing possession, with Rutter (12 of 22, 216 yards) hitting Evan Moore on an 8-yard TD pass. The

point-after kick by Patrick Inzerra was good and cut the deficit to


The Wildcats then recovered an on-side kick on the ensuing kick-off at the H-F 48. The Vikings were whistled for a 15-yard penalty that moved the ball to the 33.

However, faced with a fourth-and-two at the 25, Eric Bey sacked

Rutter, which resulted in H-F getting the ball on downs.

From there, it was all Vikings. The Vikings offensive line of Bland,

Eric Freeman, Albrey Smith, Rayshaun Hawkins and DeAngelo Wofford made certain of that, creating holes for the Harley-Hamptons to keep moving the chains.

Matt Dwyer added an interception in the second half for H-F.

“Coach told us at the half to stay focused,” Deante Harley-Hampton

said. “We stayed calm and kept working.”

Dominick Muoghalu led the Wildcats with 83 yards rushing on 19 carries and Charlie Hunter added 53 yards and a score on 10 carries.

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