Oak Forest holds off T.F. South

SHARE Oak Forest holds off T.F. South

Oak Forest dominated the first half and then held on for a 28-20 victory Friday over T.F. South in Lansing, earning a share of the South Suburban Blue championship with the hosts and Lemont.

Running back Ben Santiago led the Bengals (8-1, 5-1) with 137 yards and three touchdowns on 21 carries. He credited his blockers — Jack Cramer, Alex Miranda, Ricky Vargas, Luke Taccola and Mike Schofield.

“The seniors knew this was the last regular-season game for us and we wanted to go out on top,” Santiago said. “I had a good night, but I couldn’t have done it without those guys on the line.”

In the first half, the Bengals rushed for 142 yards. Santiago had 91 yards and a touchdown on 13 carries.

T.F. South managed just five yards in offense and didn’t have a first down. But the Rebels (7-2, 5-1) made a game of it in the second half.

“We knew they wouldn’t roll over and would come out and play us tough in the second half,” Oak Forest coach Brian McDonough said. “But I give our guys a lot of credit because they hung in there. We came over here expecting a war and we got it in the second half.”

Trailing 14-0, T.F. South took the second-half kickoff and went 75 yards in 15 plays. Saleem Sanford (86 yards, 21 carries) scored from the 3-yard line to cut the lead to 14-6. The extra-point kick, after a 15-yard penalty, was no good.

Oak Forest answered, taking just two plays to regain the two-touchdown advantage. Nick Cuifia’s 66-yard run set up Santiago’s four-yard scoring run.

T.F. South got a 38-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Peyton Padjen to Drakkar Frazier, but that score was matched by a 1-yard touchdown run by Santiago. South made it 28-20 with 7:14 left when Joe Young scored on an 11-yard run and a conversion run.

“I’ve got to give my kids a lot of credit for not giving up,” South coach Tom Padjen said. “We just ran out of time.”

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