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Lockport football hangs with H-F, for a while

LOCKPORT – Playing the No. 1-ranked football team in the state on your homecoming night is a tall task.

For 18 minutes, Lockport and Homewood-Flossmoor went toe-to-toe in a scoreless game. With 5:57 left in the second quarter, the Vikings went up 7-0. They added 21 more points to hit 28-0 by halftime.

H-F (5-0, 3-0) added 20 second-half points and cruised, 48-0, in the SouthWest Suburban Blue game.

Lockport’s defense stood the test right away by stopping the Vikings on their first possession on fourth down from the Porters’ 44-yard line. The Vikings started the drive at their 28.

The Porters (1-4, 1-3) came right back and had an opportunity to take the lead after building a 16-play drive that included a successful fake punt as Matt Skobel gained 29 yards. The drive consumed 7:40 and took play into the second quarter. But on fourth-and-goal from the 1, Skobel was stopped.

“That first drive was crucial and we needed to come away with points,” Lockport coach Dan Starkey said. “He [Skobel] read the defense and called the fake on the field. They executed it perfectly.

“They [Vikings] weren’t going to panic if we would have scored, but it would have made it interesting.”

After the goal-line stand, the Vikings’ first play from their 1 was a 50-yard pass from quarterback Bryce Gray to Tyrice Richie. Lockport then forced H-F into a third-and-27 from the Porters’ 37. However, Devonte Harley-Hampton went on a weaving, 37-yard run to score with 5:57 left in the first half. That seemed to awaken the Vikings as they scored on their next five possessions.

After a Porters’ three-and-out, Gray hooked up with Kendric Pryor for 41 yards and hit Deante Harley-Hampton with an 18-yard touchdown pass for a 14-0 lead with 3:03 remaining in the half.

On the Porters’ first play after the score, quarterback Deiondre Taylor was picked off by Justin Correll, who returned it to the 1, and Devonte Harley-Hampton scored to make it 21-0.

Another three-and-out by the Porters gave the Vikings another chance and they took advantage, going 46 yards for the touchdown. The drive was capped by a 20-yard pass from Gray to Pryor.

H-F scored on its first three possessions of the third quarter to make it 42-0 and invoke the running clock. Lockport never threatened again and ran only 10 plays in the third quarter.

“Our defense flew around tonight and we hit them hard. I really like the effort and the physicality our team showed,” Starkey said. “We didn’t back down and were not intimidated. They are a talented team and very well coached.”

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