PLAINFIELD — In the battle of Ridge Road Friday night, Plainfield South was able to pull out a thrilling 14-10 victory over the Minooka Indians, sending the Cougars to a 3-3 record.
It was homecoming night at Plainfield South, and the Cougars fed off the energy from the crowd early. Senior quarterback Ricky Luna guided the South offense 80 yards on their first drive, ending with a three yard touchdown reception from junior linebacker Clifton Garrett. The drive took just under seven minutes for the Cougars and it gave them the early 7-0 advantage.
"I think the energy from the crowd helped," South head coach Ken Bublitz said. "It could have gone two ways, though. Sometimes you get too caught up in it and you end up losing all of your energy."
The Indians had senior quarterback Joe Carnagio back for the first time in two weeks. The senior looked shaky in his first series, but returned on his second series, leading the Indians to the Cougars five yard line. On a third down play, Minooka looked poised to score, but Carnagio's pass was intercepted by safety Tyler Butler in the end zone.
After the defense forced a three and out, the Indians came right back on offense, driving down inside the South ten yard line. From there, senior Max Brozovich took over, running for an eight yard touchdown to even the score at seven half way through the second quarter.
The game remained tied heading into the third quarter, where both teams fumbled to start the second half. Minooka had the ball midway through the third and drove into Cougar territory. From there, the Indians scored on a 41 yard field goal from Jake Stytz to take a 10-7 advantage.
"Our guys stayed focused throughout that," Bublitz said. "We had a set agenda and we knew what to do."
After Plainfield punted the ball away inside the Minooka one yard line, the Indians fumbled the ball again, as Plainfield South recovered it at he four line. Two plays later, the Cougars scored on a six yard touchdown run from senior Jonathan Kosirog, giving South the 14-10 lead.
"It was amazing," Kosirog said. "It was one of the best feelings ever scoring that touchdown."
"We were just sloppy and couldn't execute on offense," Minooka coach Paul Forsythe said. "We turned the ball over three times. You can't do that."
After failing on a fourth down inside the Plainfield 30 yard line, the Indians forced the Cougars to punt, getting the ball back at midfield with 53 seconds left. Minooka was able to reach the 20 yard line on the last play, but Carnagio's final pass was intercepted in the end zone, ending the game. The Indians drop to 2-4 on the season with the loss.
"We were trying to go hurry up with the ball," Forsythe said. "They were in prevent defense and I felt confident with Carnagio as our quarterback that we would be able to score. Unfortunately we didn't score."