Timothy Jansen needed only seconds to turn the the mood of the loud and boisterous Johnsburg homecoming crowd quiet.
The Hampshire junior returned the opening kickoff 85 yards for a stunning early 7-0 lead the Whip-Purs rode to a 27-21 conference victory over the Skyhawks Friday night in Johnsburg.
The special teams play of the Whip-Purs (3-3, 2-1 Fox Valley Fox) created a dominant tone as Christopher Calvin followed Jansen’s lead by returning another kickoff 84 yards for a 21-8 at the end of the first quarter. Mixed in with the two kickoff returns, senior Phillip Lapointe scampered in from five yards out as part of his 81-yard rushing performance.
“Our special teams was huge today,” Hampshire coach Dan Cavanaugh said.“They really came through for us today and we probably wouldn’t have won this game if it wasn’t for our special teams.”
Johnsburg quarterback Nick Brengman connected with fellow sophomore Brad Iverson from 13-yards out with 3:46 left in the first quarter to narrow the 13-0 deficit. Again, Johnsburg’s momentum lasted only moments as Calvin returned the ensuing kickoff.
Johnsburg (0-6, 0-4) staged their own comeback and used touchdown runs by Christian Nugent and Jake Hauck to knot the score in the third quarter. Hampshire quarterback Kyle Anderson scored the game-winner on a 14-yard run on the Whip-Purs’ opening possession of the fourth quarter.
The Whip-Purs’ victory was crucial after they suffered two tough defeats against Cary-Grove and Grayslake North.
“This wasn’t our prettiest win of the season, but it is one we needed and keeps us in playoff contention,” Cavanaugh said.
“Give Johnsburg credit. They played one heck of a game and we were fortunate to come away with a victory. We got the big plays we needed at the right time.”
Nugent gained 111 yards on 18 carries for the Skyhawks.
HAMPSHIRE 27, JOHNSBURG 21
|Hampshire 21 0 0 6 – 27 Johnsburg 8 0 13 0 — 21 H-Jansen 85 kickoff return (Blaese kick), 11:48 H-LaPointe 5 run (kick failed), 6:26 J- Iverson 14 pass from Brengman (Iverson run), 3:46 H-Calvin 84 kickoff return (Calvin pass from Anderson), 3:32 J- Nugent 1 run (Boyle kick), 6:51 J- Hauck 21 run (pass failed). 1:27 H-Anderson 14 run (run failed), 10:59 Team Stats Hampshire Johnsburg First Downs 12 15 Comp-Att-Int 1-4-0 10-18-0 Passing Yards 7 109 Rushing Att-Yards 36-231 30-177 Total Yards 238 286 Fumbles-Lost 2-1 2-0 Individual Statistics Rushing Hampshire: LaPointe 16-81, Crater 10-57, Anderson 7-70, Calvin 3-23. Johnsburg: Nugent 18-111, Fox 4-21, Hauck 6-28, Brengman 2-17. Passing Hampshire: Anderson 1-4-0 7. Johnsburg: Brengman 10-18-0 109. Receiving Hampshire: Cork 1-7. Johnsburg: Iverson 4-86, Nugent 2-12, Fox 2-9, Hauck 2-2.|