After watching a 28-14 halftime lead against Andrew dissolve into a
35-28 deficit with 7:06 left in the game, Sandburg could be excused
for thinking “here we go again.”
Six days earlier, the Eagles allowed a 21-6 halftime lead turn into a 26-21 loss to Lincoln-Way Central.
However, instead of wilting on Friday, Sandburg rallied with two late
scores and walked away with a thrilling 42-35 win over Andrew in
Aidan Muno-Kuhn scored on a 7-yard run with 3:35 to go to tie the game and Brian Langowski bulled in from four yards out with 36.7 seconds remaining for the winning score. Jonathan Milazzo added both point-after kicks for the Eagles (1-1), who have won nine of 10 meetings against the Thunderbolts (1-1).
“It had a little of that feel of last week in the second half,” Sandburg coach Dave Wierzal said. “I was a little concerned where the kids heads were at. It’s pretty special they were able to work through that.”
Sandburg relied on the three-headed monster of Lavelle Johnson,
Muno-Kuhn and Langowski to pile up 237 yards on the ground. Quarterback Sean Leland was equally effective, completing 11-of-17 passes for 176 yards and three touchdowns. He hooked up with Johnson on a pair of scores covering 64 and 22 yards and connected on a 3-yard pass with Adam Valiga that gave the Eagles a 28-14 halftime edge. Leland also rushed for a touchdown.
“Sean threw the ball with authority,” Wierzal said. “He made some
really sharp throws.”
Quarterback Jacob Platt and running back Jarvion Franklin did
everything in their power to will the Thunderbolts to victory. Platt
completed 21-of-28 passes for 222 yards and three TDs and rushed for
72 yards. He twice hooked up with Nino Sanfilippo on scores of 13 and
11 yards and also found A.J. Malzone in the end zone.
Franklin finished with 100 yards on 19 carries and two scores. His
12-yard run with 7:06 left in the fourth quarter gave Andrew a 35-28
“We knew it was going to be a battle,” Andrew coach Jim Malec said.
“It came right down to the end. We needed to make a couple big stops.
Sandburg was able to get the ball in the end zone at the end.”
Other than two possessions in the second half, the Eagles were able to
move the ball extremely well against Andrew. Much of the success can
be attributed to Sandburg’s offensive line of Corey Lunak, Cooper
Framke, Cal Smith, Pat Torpy and Yanni Demogerontas.
“We don’t have superstar wide receivers but we have kids who can catch
the ball,” Wierzal said. “We don’t have superstar running backs but we
have kids who can move the ball. I couldn’t be prouder of this team
with how they came back.”