JOLIET – When you play the number one team in the state, everything must go your way, and that usually doesn’t happen.
Joliet West opened the game with an onside kick that was there to be recovered, but Homewood-Flossmoor pounced on the ball and scored on its first six possessions for a 44-6 SouthWest Suburban Conference Blue victory Saturday at Ray Klootwyk Field.
After recovering the onside kick, the Vikings (6-0, 3-0) put together a 12-play drive that consumed five minutes as Deante Harley-Hampton ran 7 yards for the initial score. The two point conversion was good and the Vikings led, 8-0.
After a three-and-out by the Tigers, Devonte Harley-Hampton scampered 44 yards for the next score and another 2-point conversion put H-F up, 16-0.
West running back Juwaun McBee burst up the middle for a 20-yard gain on the Tigers next possession, but three plays later, West (3-3, 1-3) had to punt.
On the first play, Vikings quarterback Bryce Gray hit Deante Harley-Hampton on an 82-yard scoring pass and with 1:02 left in the first quarter it was 23-0.
The Vikings scored on their next three possessions to take a 44-0 lead at halftime, insuring a running clock in the second half.
“They [H-F] are a tremendous team – big, strong and fast,” Tigers coach Jason Aubry said. “We learn from our mistakes and move on. We are done with this. We now have to look to next week.”
The Tigers have Sandburg, Stagg and Lockport remaining and must win two of the last three to secure a playoff bid.
“Our last three games are against good teams,” Aubry said. “Don’t look at the records of Stagg and Lockport – they are good.”
McBee, the senior running back, had 49 hard-earned yards on 13 carries and scored the lone Tiger touchdown, on a 2-yard run with six seconds remaining in the third quarter.
“Juwaun ran the ball well today,” Aubry said. “All of our running backs must continue to hit the hole hard and keep their heads up. I really like the progression of all of our kids. We have quite a few underclassmen playing a lot of downs.”
One of the youngest is quarterback Jaxon Aubry, a freshman. He will be the signal-caller for the remainder of the season, as Jason Aubry confirmed that senior Alex Tibble has been lost for the remainder of the season.
“Jaxon has been around football all of his life, it doesn’t matter who we play, everyone must do their job,” Jason Aubry said. “We, as coaches, must get the players in position to make plays and then execute. As I said, I really like the growth our young players have shown.”