Prior to Friday night, Flynn Nagel never had experienced the intense rivalry between Lemont and Oak Forest as a player.
The senior receiver spent his first three years of high school at Marist before transferring to Lemont.
Nagel more than made up for lost time Friday.
The Duke recruit hauled in four touchdown passes, three coming in the first quarter, to lead Lemont to a 42-20 South Suburban Blue win at Oak Forest.
The win kept the Indians perfect on the season at 4-0 overall, 2-0 in the Blue. The Bengals fell to 3-1, 1-1.
“Back when my brothers played (for Lemont) it was a huge rivalry,” Nagel said. “My teammates told me it was going to get crazy, and it did.”
It marked the second time Nagel caught four touchdown passes in a game, the other coming when he was a sophomore at Marist.
However, it was the first time he caught three TD passes in the first quarter of a game. The Indians took advantage of ideal field position twice in the first quarter, starting drives at the Oak Forest 27- and 29-yard lines, and cashed in each time.
Nagel caught touchdown passes of 20, 12 and 3 yards from quarterback Ryan Dawson to stake the Indians to a 21-0 lead before the first quarter ended.
Dawson completed his first 10 passes on the night and finished 20-of-25 for 267 yards.
“I just throw the ball to a certain spot and I know he’s going to come down with the ball,” Dawson said of Nagel. “Getting ahead early was huge for us.”
To Oak Forest’s credit, the Bengals clawed their way back into the game. A 3-yard TD run by quarterback Joe Muller cut the deficit to 21-6 with 7:05 left in the first half. The 2-point conversion try failed.
The Bengals scored on their first possession of the second half on a 1-yard TD run by Zach Russell. The 2-point conversion was successful and Oak Forest trailed 21-14 at 7:37 of the third.
“Our kids came back,” Oak Forest coach Brian McDonough said. “We dug ourselves a hole. We made some mistakes.”
Oak Forest didn’t get any closer, though the score stood 28-20 with 3:40 remaining in the third quarter.
When Nagel caught a 56-yard touchdown pass in between three defenders, the lead swelled to 35-20. It was a deflating blow to the Bengals, who never recovered.
Nagel finished with eight catches for 166 yards.
Besides Nagel, receivers Jimmy Kepouros (5 catches, 51 yards) and Jamie Glista (3 catches, 42 yards, 2 TDs) had strong games.
For Oak Forest, Nick Czeszewski had 95 yards on three carries, including a 69-yard TD run, and JaRon Johnson added 68 yards rushing on 13 carries.