MINOOKA – An instant classic is a good way to describe the first meeting between Lockport and Minooka on the football field.
With 15.6 seconds remaining and his team trailing, 22-20, Friday night, Indians quarterback John Carnagio dropped back and hit receiver Isaiah Hill with a 66-yard touchdown pass that gave Minooka a 26-22 nonconference victory over the Porters.
When Hill scored, the clocked showed 0.01 remaining. The junior receiver had a huge game, catching five passes for 153 yards.
“It was the worst pass I threw all night and I was just trying to get it to Isaiah. He was running a fly pattern,” said Carnagio, who was 12 of 28 passing for 216 yards. “He made the adjustment to the ball and I couldn’t believe he scored.
“Our defense really picked us up tonight. We really couldn’t get anything going, but they kept us in the game and gave the offense the opportunities.”
Lockport (0-2) took a 22-20 lead with 2:04 remaining on a safety. David Balderrama tackled Carnagio in the end zone after Lockport went for it and failed to convert from the Minooka 3 on a fourth-down play.
The victory gives the Indians of a 2-0 start for the first time since 2010.
“Wow, what else can I say,” Minooka coach Paul Forsythe said.
“John’s pass was so bad to Isaiah it was good. We had to throw the ball a lot tonight because we couldn’t run the ball. Give Lockport’s defense credit for that. They mixed it up early and we couldn’t do anything in that first half. They are real physical up front and we had to get John throwing the ball more in the second half.”
The game started fast as Lockport took the opening drive 67 yards, with Matt Skobel scoring on a 4-yard run for a 7-0 lead.
Minooka came right back on its first possession. After a 66-yard run by Joshua Garcia, Carnagio scored the touchdown on a 4-yard keeper.
The Porters took a 14-7 lead with 7:10 to go in the second quarter on a 48-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Ben Davis to Collin Van Lonkhuyzen.
“In my 12 years as a head coach, I have never seen anything like that game,” Lockport coach Dan Starkey said. “We are not playing winning football right now. We must learn how to finish and finish every play. We let them hang around on their senior night and you saw what happened.”
Lockport had opportunities in the first half to extend the lead, but two stalled drives ended in missed field goals from 22 and 27 yards.
In the second half, Minooka responded on the arm of Carnagio as he hooked up with Hill on a 42-yard pass to the Lockport 8-yard line and Jaccor Blakney ran the last five yards for a touchdown. Minooka trailed 14-13 after the extra point was blocked.
With 2:03 remaining in the third quarter, Skobel got loose up the middle and scampered for a 52-yard touchdown run. The Porters led 20-13 after missing the extra point.
Minooka’s defense came up big with 10:20 remaining as Carson Oughton picked up a fumble and ran it in from the 4-yard line to tie the score at 20. That set things up for the incredible last few minutes.
Skobel finished with 155 yards on 24 carries, and Davis was 11 of 24 passing for 226 yards.
“We are finding ways to get it done, but we have to clean up things,” Forsythe said. “Our defense played outstanding tonight. We are 2-0, but still have a lot of work to get done.”