Hard-fought loss to Hillcrest may result in challenging first round match-up
By Josh Bootsma
LANSING, Ill. (October 22, 2021) – In the final contest of the regular season, TF South lost a barn burner game to the Hillcrest Hawks, with a controversial fourth down call late in the fourth quarter that sealed TFS’ fate. TFS will now enter the playoffs with a 6-3 record, and may face a difficult challenger in the first round on either Friday or Saturday next week.
TF South scored a touchdown and a successful PAT on the first drive of the game, with senior stalwart Ernest Temple running for 60 yards into the end zone. Hillcrest quickly struck back, returning the subsequent kick-off for a touchdown. After a failed PAT, the score was 7-6 favoring TFS.
With 51 seconds left in the half, TFS scored again when senior quarterback Jacob Urdiales found senior Ethan Pryor for an 8-yard reception. The halftime score was 14-6.
To even the score, Hillcrest started the second half scoring with a touchdown and successful two-point conversion, making the game tied at 14.
TF South punched back, however, when Ernest Temple twisted his way into the end zone on a two-yard run, making the game 21-14 after the successful PAT.
The offensive pendulum quickly swung back in the Hawks’ direction, as the team scored a touchdown and attempted a two-point conversion. The try was nearly successful but the football bounced off of the receiver, making the score 21-20.
Hillcrest scored again with 4:32 left in the game, putting TFS down by five points — 26-21.
With the game on the line, TFS started its campaign down the field and faced a fourth down. Urdiales threw a pass to Pryor, who ran toward the sideline and initially appeared to get a first down. The officials said he came up short of the marker, however, and despite TFS’ profuse protestations, Hillcrest retained possession with just minutes remaining in the game.
On a final fourth down play with eight seconds left on the clock, Hillcrest ran backwards into their own end zone in an effort to run out the clock. The play resulted in a safety with 1.4 seconds remaining. Down 26-23, TFS had one final chance to score in the form of a kick-off return. The ball was not fielded cleanly, however, and the tight game ended with a tackle near the TFS goal line. The final score was 26-23.
Stats and next week
The primary offensive engine for TFS Friday night was the running game, which gathered 211 yards — 154 of which were earned by Temple. Urdiales was the sole passer for TF South, and threw for 66 yards, going 10/17 and throwing no interceptions.
TF South notched 223 total yards after penalties.
Next weekend starts the playoffs, and TF South will learn their match-up in the coming day or two. Having a 6-3 record, it’s likely the team will be paired with a team with a better record, and TFS will have to play on the road. Next week’s game will either be on Friday or Saturday.
TF South is located at 18500 Burnham Avenue in Lansing.