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Prep Sports

Win slips through Joliet Central’s fingers

DOLTON – Terrence Robinson’s 52-yard interception return for a touchdown in the fourth quarter sent Joliet Central to its 46th consecutive loss as Thornridge edged the Steelmen, 12-6, on Friday.

The game was there for the Steelmen to win.

They have not dented the victory column since the two Joliet Township schools returned to separate programs in 2010.

Central’s defense stopped the Falcons’ fake punt attempt on fourth down and gave the Steelmen offense the ball at midfield with 2:02 left in the game with the score tied at 6.

That good fortune was short-lived as Central quarterback Zach Wisniewski fired a ball that his receiver could only get a hand on. The ball deflected into the hands of Robinson, who had nothing but open field ahead of him. His score came with 1:49 to play.

Still, the Steelmen had one more shot.

Wisniewski led them to their 45 and needed to convert on fourth-and-15 to keep Central alive. His pass found the hands of an open receiver over the middle who had the yardage for the first down, but the receiver bobbled it and the ball fell to the ground.

It was one more example to Steelmen coach Brett Boyter of an offense that needs to execute if Central is going to end its losing streak.

“We deserve what we get,” Boyter said. “There were so many plays we left out there on the offensive end, so many overthrown balls, dropped balls. I saw two tips for picks, one for a pick-six, not executing our offense at certain times, not doing what we’re taught in practice, we’re going to get the results we got.”

His offense did produce one highlight when receiver Jamari McNair turned Wisniewski’s screen pass into a 75-yard touchdown play that gave Central a 6-0 lead at halftime.

Thornridge tied the game in the third quarter when running back Oliver McCall scored from the 1-yard line.

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