Football: Coal City gets some extra help in victory
By Tommy Stokke For Sun-Times Media August 25, 2012 2:10AM
Players warm up before Friday night's game between Wilmington and Coal City. | Paul Bergstrom~For Sun-Times Media
Player of the game
Wilmington’s Nick Anderson made two critical catches in rallying the Wildcats. His fourth-down grab of 14 yards and his 28-yard catch over a Coal City defender brought the down-and-out Wildcats to the 2-yard line, setting up a touchdown and a chance to tie the game.
Updated: September 27, 2012 11:27AM
Attribute the sloppy play to the opening week, big-game atmosphere or a defensive clinic.
Whatever the equation, Coal City will take the result — a win.
The Coalers forced three turnovers but appeared to be looking at overtime until Wilmington’s extra-point attempt with 1:16 remaining flied wide left, sealing the win for Coal City in a 13-12 thriller at Becker Field.
“We’ll take it,” Coal City coach Leny Onsen said. “In Game 1 vs. a very tough team in Wilmington, a win is a win. Not everything went the way I imagined, but hopefully this is something we can build on.”
It seemed as though Wilmington finally broke through offensively when it mattered most. Quarterback Sean Liaromatis (7-of-16, 118 yards) drove the Wildcats all the way to the 5-yard line following a big fourth-down grab by Nick Anderson. But on third-and-7 with just over three minutes remaining, Wilmington fumbled the snap and could only watch as the Coalers stormed off the field with ball in hand.
But a three-and-out gave Wilmington one last hope. Plays of 21 and 28 yards went to Chris Tworek (70 yards rushing) and Anderson, the latter setting up first-and-goal at the 2-yard line.
After Liaromatis battled his way into the end zone on a keeper, the Wildcats seemed destined for revenge after last year’s 20-14 defeat to Coal City, but the ensuing extra- point attempt sailed wide left, the second failed conversion of the night.
“We made some crucial mistakes and we didn’t handle certain situations the right way,” Wilmington coach Jeff Reents said. “We have to get over this tough loss and start preparing for Sandwich.”
Coalers QB Brennen Shetina finished 5-of-10 for 110 yards, including a 57-yard touchdown to sophomore wide receiver Jack Dibble, who took the screen pass all the way.