Jake Elliott has never played a down of football before this season. The Lyons Township Lions (3-3) are glad he decided to lend his leg to the team as he drilled a massive 52-yard field goal with no time left to deliver the Lions a victory over the Oak Park River Forest Huskies (2-4), 16-14.
Oh yeah, it happened to be the homecoming game too.
"In over 18 years I've never seen a game like this," said LT head coach Kurt Weinberg.
After falling behind on a deflating scoop-and-score with two minutes left, the Lions faced a dire situation as OPRF had control of the ball. The Huskies were leading 14-13 with :57 seconds left and four downs to kill the clock. The Lions used their time outs wisely and forced OPRF to punt the ball with :14 seconds.
All game, LT was sending the pressure on punts to try and block one, and they finally got home on the biggest punt of the game.
"We were bringing our guys to see if we could get a hold of one. We did and it obviously paid off," said Weinberg.
Three incompletions followed before Weinberg called on Elliott to nail the game winning field goal.
Elliott's strike hit the mark and the Lions stormed the field to celebrate a homecoming victory.
"[Elliott] has a lot of guts, and he's tough," said Weinberg.
It was not a pretty game. At the end of the first half, the Lions and Huskies exchanged turnovers. The passing game was virtually non existent as both teams pounded the ground for yardage. The score was tied 0-0 through the first 2 quarters.
With 9:19 left in the third the Lions hit a field goal to make the score 3-0. They added another with 3:58 left in the third, making the score 6-0. The first touchdown of the game was scored by LT's Jaime Jones with 1:08 left in the 3rd, making the score 13-0.
The Huskies put together a drive behind a strong running game (208 of their 234 total yards came on the ground) and scored with 8:39 left in the 4th quarter. They attempted and converted a two-point conversion and made the score 13-8.
The teams would exchange punts before a botched hand off was picked up by Jacob Linvelt, who took it to the house to put OPRF up 14-13. They failed to hit their two-point conversion, setting the stage for Elliott's dramatic kick.