Final stop: Coal City gets past Peotone
By Tommy Stokke For Sun-Times Media October 27, 2012 2:02AM
Player of the game
Coal City’s Brennan Shetina, who was 8-of-13 passing for 162 yards and had 25 yards on the ground, scored three touchdowns.
Brennan Shetina stared out at the field, watching as his first high school playoff game rested on the shoulders of a defense that had struggled to stop Peotone.
For the first time all night, Shetina wasn’t in control. And it wasn’t easy.
“If I could’ve been out on ‘D’, I would’ve been,” the junior quarterback said.
The Coalers made the defensive play when they needed it most, stopping Peotone at the 1-yard line as time expired to preserve a 27-20 home win in the first round of the Class 4A playoffs.
“That’s why you don’t like playing a conference opponent for a second time in the playoffs,” Coal City coach Lenny Onsen said. “It’s never easy, and it’s hard to get that across to 17- and 18-year-old kids.”
The Coalers (9-1), who defeated Peotone 28-7 in Week 7, faced deficits of 6-0 and 12-7 in the first half, their lone score being a 30-yard touchdown pass from Shetina to Nick Peters and Lane Cowherd’s PAT.
After Peotone’s second touchdown, a 1-yard run by Joe Cowger, Onsen called a timeout, settling down his defense.
“They needed to be reminded that adversity is part of the game,” he said. “We were bickering at each other and that’s unacceptable. There’s a lot of outside pressure on these kids and they just have to remember to go out and play.”
The offense, led by Shetina (187 total yards, 3 touchdowns), backed up the defense with touchdowns on the first two drives in the second half.
Shetina found Cowherd in the back of the end zone for a 20-yard score. Later, a 46-yard pass to Peters set up a 1-yard Shetina touchdown run and a 20-12 lead with 4:31 remaining in the third quarter.
A Coal City fumble in its own territory set up a Peotone rushing score, and a 2-point conversion tied the game.
Mark Norton’s 3-yard run gave the Coalers the lead at 27-20 with 7:14 remaining.
Peotone drove to the 6-yard line with less than nine seconds remaining. Cowger was flipped in the air and stopped at the 1 as time expired.
“I was very confident,” Onsen said of his defense. “I can honestly say that. I just thought we would make a play. All fingers and toes were crossed, but I was confident.”