When Dan Cavanaugh thinks back on the more than 200 games he’s coached during his 24-year tenure at Hampshire, not too many last-second finishes come to mind.
But that’s exactly what the longtime Whip-Purs coach witnessed Friday night when quarterback Kyle Anderson ducked into the end zone on an option play with 0.4 seconds left to lift Hampshire to a thrilling 33-27 victory at DeKalb.
Anderson’s trip across the goal line capped a wild finish that saw the Whip-Purs and Barbs combine to score three touchdowns in the final 1:28. The last-second score also evened Hampshire’s record at 1-1 and provided a major shot in the arm for a team that entered the season determined to take a step forward following back-to-back 1-8 finishes.
“It was a good win for our guys,” Cavanaugh said. “They had to keep coming back and it was definitely something to build on.”
The Whips took their first lead when Phil LaPointe scored his second touchdown of the night with 1:28 remaining to make the score 27-21.
DeKalb stormed right back with a four-play, 56-yard drive capped off by a Dylan Hottsmith 3-yard touchdown run to tie the game at 27. Hottsmith, who is also the team’s placekicker, was banged up on the play and unable to attempt the extra point. Thus the Barbs used a backup kicker and the extra-point attempt never made it off the turf.
With overtime looking likely, Hampshire had one more chance in regulation when it took possession with 40 seconds remaining. A 65-yard pass from Anderson to Brendan Waterworth moved the Whips to DeKalb’s 2-yard line and prompted Cavanaugh to use his final timeout with 12 seconds left.
The Whips lost yardage on the next play, but DeKalb was penalized for having too many players on the field, moving the ball up to the 1-yard line and setting the stage for
“It was back and forth there in the last couple minutes,” Cavanaugh said. “It was really unbelievable.”
Tyler Crater had 92 rushing yards and a touchdown on 13 carries in the first half for Hampshire, but the senior didn’t return after being helped off the field following a hard hit in the second quarter.
The Whips got good news Monday as Crater returned to practice. Cavanaugh said he thinks Crater will be able to play this Friday when the Whips open Fox Valley Fox play at Grayslake Central.
Hampshire’s win against DeKalb helped the program avoid its fifth straight 0-2 start. Now the Whips will try to win consecutive games for the first time since the end of the 2009 season.
“It was very exciting Friday night and we talked about it again (Monday at practice) that it was a good win, but now it’s time to move on to Grayslake Central, put that in the past and focus on this week,” Cavanaugh said.
Green Wave going with quarterback by committee
St. Edward went from using two quarterbacks in its season opener to using three quarterbacks in its Week 2 loss against Aurora Christian. Expect more of the same going ahead as the Green Wave tries to break in juniors Tighe Koehring and Mikey Castoro, who are playing the position for the first time this year.
Moving the ball through the air hasn’t been easy for St. Edward so far, but Castoro did show off some fancy footwork last week. The 5-foot-6, 145-pounder finished with 47 rushing yards on 16 carries and moved the chains with three carries of 10 yards or more.
“(Castoro) is the smallest kid on the team, but he’s got the biggest heart,” St. Edward coach Mike Rolando said. “He’s a good football player. He’s just a little undersized for some of the teams we play, but he had a great game (against Aurora Christian).”
While Castoro’s size limits his ability to find receivers downfield, the 6-foot-1 Koehring has struggled with his accuracy, completing only 4 of 19 passes through the first two games. Sophomore Bryan O’Neill also got in the act last Friday as he competed a 21-yard pass late in the game.
“We’ve got to do a little better throwing the ball,” Rolando said. “We’ve got two brand new quarterbacks, but when teams come up like they do to stop the run, we have to be able to throw the ball in bounds and we have to be able to throw catchable balls.”
Cuda to Crivolio a solid connection for Storm
If South Elgin’s first two games are any indication, receiver Joe Crivolio and quarterback Rob Cuda are on their way to monster seasons for the Storm.
Crivolio, a 6-foot-3 senior, already has 22 receptions for 291 yards and five touchdowns, including a 15-catch performance in Saturday’s loss against Benet.
While Crivolio has been Cuda’s favorite target so far, the junior signal caller has been able to spread the ball around during his first two varsity starts. He has completed 43 of 79 passes for 508 yards and seven touchdowns to go along with four interceptions.
“Cuda is doing a great job, especially stepping up as a junior,” Crivolio said. “We played together a little bit my sophomore year when both of our quarterbacks got hurt, so we’ve been working together for a long time and have a great connection.”