Coal City earns playoff berth
By Tommy Stokke For Sun-Times Media October 6, 2012 1:42AM
of The game
Brennan Shetina finished with 113 yards in the air and 42 yards on the ground in leading Coal City to a 28-7 win over Peotone.
Updated: November 8, 2012 11:51AM
With momentum in Peotone’s favor in the form of a 19-4 play advantage to begin the third quarter, Coal City’s Jake Czaja made the big play.
Not to be outdone, his identical twin brother, Michael, made a play for good measure.
Jake intercepted a Peotone pass, while Michael forced a fumble at the Coal City 4-yard line en route to a playoff-clinching 28-7 victory at home over Interstate Eight foe Peotone.
Leading 14-7, the No. 9 Coalers (6-1, 4-1) were worn down on defense by a 13-play, 58-yard drive that stretched for five minutes but resulted in a missed field-goal attempt for Peotone (3-4, 1-4). A Coal City three-and-out did the defense no favor, and neither did Peotone converting a fake punt on the ensuing drive.
Jake Czaja, however, had had enough.
Czaja ripped the ball out of a Peotone’s receiver’s hands for an interception at the 29-yard line with 2:07 remaining in the third.
“We were just trying to make a big play, and it was getting into scoring time again,” Coal City coach Len Onsen said. “You just hope things go in your favor, and it did there.”
A 7-yard Ryland Tondini touchdown with 9:49 left stretched the Coalers’ lead to 21-7.
Later, with Peotone at its 6-yard line, Michael Czaja blitzed from the weak side, catching the quarterback by surprise and forcing a fumble.
Mark Norton’s 1-yard run pushed the lead to 28-7.
“We really wanted to establish ourselves as a playoff football team,” Onsen said. We’re winning games 7-0, winning 14-7. We have to start scoring more and getting away from these one-score games. You do it if you have to, but you want to try to finish a team off, and that’s what we worked on today.”