FRANKFORT – The much-anticipated Southwest Suburban Conference clash of unbeatens Homewood-Flossmoor and Lincoln-Way East on Friday turned into a rout, with the Griffins dominating the Vikings, 48-6.
“In the history of the program, this win has to go right up there,” Griffins coach Rob Zvonar said. “To be able to finish with a score like that against such an elite squad in H-F is very satisfying, and it’s a credit to the kids who made up their mind to play at a high level each and every play, whether it was offense, defense or special teams.”
The Vikings (5-1, 3-1 SSC) actually led the game, 6-0, with 8:54 to play in the first quarter after LaVoise McCoy recovered a Devon Williams fumble at East’s 35. H-F quarterback Dominick Jones hit receiver Maurion Scott with a 35-yard touchdown pass on the first play. The Vikings missed the extra point.
The Griffins (6-0, 4-0 SSC) responded with a two-play, 59-yard scoring drive.
Quarterback Jack Baltz hit receiver Matt Judd with a 36-yard touchdown pass and kicker Dominic Dzioban added the extra point to make it 7-6 with 8:06 to play in the first quarter.
From that point on, it was all East.
Baltz threw three touchdown passes to receiver Jackson Ritter. The first was a 40-yard strike to a wide open Ritter with 8:28 to play in the second quarter. The second was a 29-yard pass with 2:31 to play in the third quarter. The third was another wide-open, 10-yard pass to Ritter, with 8:09 to play in the fourth quarter which started the running clock.
For good measure, Baltz also ran in a touchdown from the 1-yard line late in the first quarter.
“[Ritter] knows how to get open. He’s one of my favorite receivers to throw to. He’s a great receiver. He knows how to catch the ball,” Baltz said. “Coach [Joel] Pallissard had a real good play strategy. We’d been scheming it up all week, and we had a good feeling that it was going to be open.”
Ritter was not surprised he was wide open for two of the three touchdown receptions.
“There was just one safety, so when [Matt] Judd was on the post, I just came right under wide open. It’s just about keeping your eyes on the ball. Wide-open catches are the hardest sometimes,” Ritter said. He finished with 79 yards on those three receptions.
Lincoln-Way East gained 330 yards of total offense with 142 rushing and 188 passing. Ten different Griffins carried or caught the ball against the Vikings.
“We’re going to have some weapons on offense,” Ritter said. “It was a good game. We started clicking on offense, and we just took off.”
The defense put in another stellar effort led by defensive lineman Adrian Wilson who recorded two sacks. The Griffins held the Vikings to 141 yards of total offense, 45 yards rushing and 96 yards passing.
“It’s amazing. It’s just a blessing being out here playing with this team. It’s a team effort, to be honest,” Wilson said. “They have speed all through their lineup. Our focus was just to get our reads and do good out there. The defensive tackles opened it up for me to get back there and celebrating with them [after the sacks] was the best part of it.”