LOCKPORT – In a game where defense wasn’t much of a factor, Lockport’s defense came through.
With the Porters clinging to a 35-26 lead, Michael Zapotoczny intercepted Stagg’s Joe Van Nieuwenhuyse at his 8-yard line. Lockport scored two late fourth-quarter touchdowns to get a 49-26 SouthWest Suburban Blue victory.
“I saw the receiver come into my zone, I read the play and made a break on the ball,” Zapotoczny said. “It was an opportunity I had to take at that time. We have had a bad habit of not finishing games this season, and that wasn’t going to happen tonight.”
The Porters (2-5, 2-3) gained 243 total yards in the first half and led 28-20 at the break. The teams combined for eight first-half plays that covered 21 yards or more. The game ended with 13 such plays.
The Chargers (1-6, 0-5) opened the third quarter with a four-play drive that covered 70 yards and cut the lead to 28-26.
Lockport responded with a 13-play drive as running back Matt Skobel scored from a yard out for a 35-26 lead.
The Porters ran only one offensive play, an interception by quarterback Ben Davis, after Skobel scored until the Zapotoczny interception.
Stagg controlled the ball for more than 10 minutes during that span. The Chargers ran 19 plays and also recovered a Lockport fumble on a punt, but could not score.
After the Zapotoczny interception, Skobel ran for 20 yards, then broke through the middle and rambled 72 yards to paydirt. Skobel also had a touchdown run of 44 yards in the first half and ended with 231 yards on 15 carries.
“Tonight was all our offensive line,” Skobel said. “All I had to do was get the ball, you could have driven a truck through those gaps. We finally played a whole game of hard contact football. We had a great week of practice. This team keeps working, and this gives us momentum going into the final two weeks of the season.”
Porters quarterback Davis was 13 of 17 for 179 yards and two touchdowns. He also had one rushing touchdown. He was 8 of 11 in the first half for 143 yards and collected all of his touchdowns, passing and rushing, to help build the 28-20 lead at the half.
“I have so much more confidence now than earlier in the season,” Davis said. “Getting all the reps these last two weeks has really helped. I feel so comfortable with everything.”
With the Porters up, 41-26, with 4:29 remaining, Deiondre Taylor intercepted Van Nieuwenhuyse and returned it 50 yards for the final tally. Playing both ways, Taylor had seven receptions for 80 yards along with a receiving touchdown in the first half.
Senior wide receiver Collin Van Lonkhuyzen added five catches for 81 yards and a touchdown, and running back Sheldon Snapp chipped in 76 yards on 12 carries.