JOLIET – Joliet West dug itself out of a 21-0 first-quarter hole Friday night, came back to force overtime and scored a huge, 28-27 SouthWest Suburban Blue victory over Stagg.
Jakob Coyl ran for 171 yards on 23 carries, including the all-important 10 yards on three carries in overtime. He scored four touchdowns. After his overtime touchdown, Brian Epps kicked the extra point to make it 28-21.
Stagg then took its turn on offense and scored a touchdown. The Chargers went for a two-point conversion and the win, but the Tigers’ defense made the stop on a sweep at the 2-yard line to end it.
West (4-4, 2-4) needed the victory to keep its playoff hopes alive. The Tigers also must win next week at Lockport.
“I told them at halftime, the lone survivor, Marcus Luttrell, how did he survive?” West coach Jason Aubry said. “He put a line out there, and when he accomplished getting to that line, he drew one farther. That is what we have to do. Little by little, we can do it.”
West fumbled on its first three possessions, and Stagg converted the turnovers into a 21-0 lead.
“Turnovers never help you,” Aubry said. “We gave Stagg a short field, and they used that to their advantage. We were not doing the little things. We did not hold onto the ball, and we failed to tackle.”
The Tigers got on the board with 6:16 left in the second quarter on a 5-yard run by Coyl. He scored again with 1:15 left in the half on a 2-yard run, which was set up by a 68-yard pass from Jaxon Aubry to Xavior Smith (eight receptions, 147 yards). Coyl’s third touchdown tied it at 21 with 9:33 left.
West’s defense held Stagg to 55 yards rushing and 34 yards passing in the second half.
“You have to believe in yourself and your team,” Aubry said. “When one part of the team is doing well, it can give confidence to the other. Helping each other makes the team better.”