Rock Island Alleman pulled away from host Coal City in the second half Saturday to earn a 28-13 win in a Class 4A quarterfinal.
Alleman (11-1) took advantage of a shanked punt by the Coalers to set up its first score. The Pioneers took over at the Coal City 16 and scored five plays later to take a 7-0 lead with 7:45 left in the first quarter.
The Coalers answered, mounting a 10-play, 65-yard drive to pull to within 7-6. Quarterback Brennen Shetina guided Coal City down the field, connecting with running back Ryland Tondini for a 20-yard gain on a screen pass before hitting wide receiver Lane Cowherd for a 13-yard touchdown pass.
Alleman answered on its next possession. Quarterback John Tracey led the Pioneers on a 71-yard scoring drive that ended with running back Adam Hoogerwerf scoring from the 1-yard line to make it 14-6 with 11:56 to play in the second quarter.
Coal City (10-2) mounted another scoring drive to pull to within 14-13 with 5:42 left in the half. Shetina drove the Coalers 66 yards in 13 plays, connecting with 6-foot-6 wide receiver Nick Peters on fourth-and-goal from the 4 for the score.
Alleman owned the second half. The Pioneers marched 80 yards on the first possession of the second half to make it 21-13. Tracey was the catalyst, first connecting on a 56-yard pass to Connor Whan and then scoring himself on a 6-yard run at the 8:18 mark.
Coal City drove to the Rock Island 31 before stalling as Aiden Ford sacked Shetina for a 15-yard-loss. The Pioneers took over after a punt and drove 80 yards in seven plays for the final score. Tracey broke runs of 22, 13 and 17 yards on the drive.
The Coalers mounted two drives in the fourth quarter, but one ended with Ford sacking Shetina for a 16-yard loss and the second ended when Shetina was intercepted at the Rock Island 39 by Whan.
“They are a good football team, and we knew coming in it was going to be a battle,” Coalers coach Lenny Onsen said. “We just didn’t have an answer on defense, and they played extremely well.
“I thought our kids were ready to play the second half, but things didn’t go our way. That happens.”