First home game, first win: TFS Football bests Lane Tech 41-20

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TFS Sports
A bird's-eye view of TF South's football under the Friday night lights. (Photo: Josh Bootsma)
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By Josh Bootsma

LANSING, Ill. (September 3, 2021) – After last fall’s football season was delayed to the spring due to COVID concerns, there was a special energy under the Friday night lights this week as TFS hosted Lane Tech for the first home game of the season.

Coming off a loss last week to Chesterton High School, TFS was looking to bounce back in front of Friday’s home crowd, which included cheerleaders, the dance team, the flag team, and the marching band — all of which were absent last spring due to COVID-19 considerations.

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Coach Bob Padjen (khaki shorts) leads his team towards the field ahead of Friday night’s game. (Photo: Josh Bootsma)
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JV players, coming off a victory, help hype up the varisty players. (Photo: Josh Bootsma)

First half

As the bleachers filled, Senior Ernest Temple returned the opening kick-off 70 yards. TF South did not score on the opening drive, however, fumbling the football just yards from the end zone. After the Lane Tech recovery, TFS’ defense tackled the ball carrier in the end zone, resulting in the first points of the game: a safety.

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Despite this fumble, TFS secured the first two points of the game quickly after with a safety. (Photo: Josh Bootsma)

With 3:44 left in the first quarter, Temple once again led the way and ran for a 10-yard touchdown, resulting in a 9-0 lead after the successful PAT by senior Ivan Villalobos.

An otherwise scoreless second quarter yielded a touchdown to TF South in the final seconds of the half. In a quick campaign down the field as time ran thin, senior quarterback Jacob Udiales threw 17 yards to junior Trayvonne Roberts, resulting in a halftime score of 16-0.

A video of the final passes of the half is below:

Halftime

Everyone in the stands was thrilled to see cheerleaders, dancers, flag team members, and instrumentalists take to the field as halftime entertainment after a nearly two-year hiatus.

The crowd was buzzing and happy to be watching football during Friday’s pleasant weather. (Photo: Josh Bootsma)

A compilation of some of the halftime acts is below:

Second half

The second half was an offensive slugfest for both teams.

Temple ran for a 10-yard touchdown in the third quarter, followed by a failed PAT. Also in the third, junior Brandon Woods caught a 10-yard pass from Urdiales, with a successful PAT.

In the final quarter, with only a minute-and-a-half left in the game, Temple again breached the end zone on a 24-yard run.

The final score of the game for TFS was an interception return for a touchdown by senior Qymori Johnson.

Lane Tech scored 20 points throughout the second half, resulting in a final score of 41-20, favoring the home team.

Cheerleaders helped pump up the crowd Friday night. (Photo: Josh Bootsma)

“It was great to be back. The kids were hyped. We had a decent crowd,” said Coach Bob Padjen. “We had a lot of former players come back to watch us. And it was a good win, everybody got to play in the game.”

Stand-out stars

Temple stole the show Friday night, running for 278 yards and three touchdowns.

“He’s our go-to guy,” Padjen said, “He’s our number one linebacker, our tailback, our kick-off returner. … He’s just one heck of a competitor.”

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TFS senior Ernest Temple dodges defenders during Friday’s night’s game vs. Lane Tech. He ran for 278 yards on the night. (Photo: Josh Bootsma)

Udiales threw for 82 yards during the game, and hurled two touchdown passes.

“Jacob Udiales changed a few things from last week and he adapted pretty well, threw some nice balls. He took a little bit of pressure off of Ernest and had a nice strike coming in the north endzone. He played well,” Padjen said.

Padjen also praised junior running back Tommy Rolling, who ran for 77 yards in the contest.

TFS lines up for a snap as hundreds in the home crowd look on. (Photo: Josh Bootsma)

Next week’s football

Next week’s matchup is another home game versus conference rival Bremen High School. The first conference game of the year, next Friday’s match-up will evoke memories of last year’s game against Bremen, in which the two squads went into double overtime before TFS finally pulled out the win.

“We told [our guys] Bremen’s whole offense is back. And they’re going to be coming out for blood, because we beat them in double overtime. They’re a senior-dominated group and it should be one heck of a ballgame,” Padjen said.

TF South is located at 18500 Burnham Avenue, Lansing, IL.

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