A final Bartlett drive died at the West Aurora 18-yard line at the final gun and the Blackhawks ended a 12-game losing streak by coming away with a 34-28 Upstate Eight Valley triumph.
“We knew they were going to come out fighting,” Bartlett coach Tom Meaney said. “We just have to come out ready to play in the future.”
Bartlett backup quarterback Brenner Wallace completed five straight passes in the final minute drive that ended when Brandon Gates was tackled at the West 18.
Drake Spears, a 6-2, 202-pound junior, had a 74-yard touchdown run 3:51 into the game to put the Blackhawks up 14-0, then gave them the lead for good, 28-21, with a 44-yard TD run on the last play of the third quarter. West Aurora’s DaQuan Cross had returned the opening kickoff for a 93-yard TD.
Bartlett running back Nolan Bernat had 82 yards on 16 carries, including TD runs of one yard and 17 yards, while Wallace had a 4-yard QB sneak. The 1-yard TD run gave Bartlett a 21-14 lead early in the third quarter, but West Aurora answered with a 1-yard Johnathan Doyle TD run.
Tarshma Jackson had a 2-yard TD run for a 34-21 lead in the fourth quarter after a muffed Bartlett punt, but Wallace found Bryce Petty for a 52-yard TD pass to get the Hawks back within striking distance.
St. Edward 38, Guerin 21: St. Edward (5-0, 1-0) opened Metro Suburban East play by rallying from a 13-0 deficit behind 205 yards rushing from Dwayne Allen and three touchdown passes by quarterback Joe Mullen (11-for-21, 146 yards). Santos Gomez had two TD catches and Nick Duffy one and St. Edward scored 38 straight points.
West Chicago 28, Larkin 22: For the second straight week Larkin (0-5, 0-3) came roaring back from a big deficit and this time tied the score at 20 in the fourth quarter after trailing 20-0 earlier. But West Chicago got the Upstate Eight River win with a late TD drive. Quarterback David Hibbler completed 17-for-20 for 136 yards and two touchdowns to A.J. Hunger, and also ran for 54 yards in his first start for Larkin. Running back Cameron Tomlin ran for 109 yards.
Geneva 56, Elgin 6: Trae Sallis scored Elgin’s only points on a 1-yard third-quarter TD plunge but the Maroons (0-5, 0-3) couldn’t muster much against unbeaten Geneva in the Upstate Eight River. Justin Taormina ran for three Geneva TDs as the Vikings piled up 335 rushing yards.
St. Charles East 24, Streamwood 6: Ramon Lopez rushed for 315 yards on 49 carries, both area highs for the season, and St. Charles East (2-3, 2-1) turned back Streamwood (1-4, 1-2) in the Upstate Eight River. The Sabres’ passing combo of Max Draper to Noah Polich accounted for 13 catches and 165 yards but it wasn’t enough. Draper finished 25 of 56 for 228 yards.
Alden-Hebron Co-op 15, Westminster Christian 13: Quarterback Max Tucker threw for 113 yards on 9 of 21 and a touchdown, but Westminster (2-3, 2-3) lost a big Northeastern Athletic Conference game under the lights to the Alden-Hebron/Faith Lutheran co-op team.
Batavia 21, St. Charles North 7: Quarterback Nathan Didier went 21-for-36 for 176 yards and threw a 16-yard touchdown on a screen pass to Kyle Novotney, but Batavia’s defense shut down North (3-2, 1-2) in Upstate Eight River play.