Football: Plainfield East beats Romeoville 21-6
By Dick Goss firstname.lastname@example.org October 12, 2013 12:28AM
Plainfield East quarterback Cole Kotopka rolls out against Romeoville and runs for a 3-yard touchdown during the first quarter at East Friday, October 11, 2013. | Raymundo Luna/For Sun-Times Media
Updated: October 13, 2013 1:34PM
It is not often the first play from scrimmage sets the tone for the rest of the game, but it happened Friday night.
Plainfield East quarterback Cole Kotopka hit Shederick Majors on a 67-yard pass play that carried to the Romeoville 3-yard line. Kotopka scored three plays later from the 3, and the Bengals were on the way to a 21-6 Southwest Prairie triumph, the biggest victory in school history.
“We know they’re a big-play team and we had to prevent the big play, and they hit us with it the first play,” Romeoville coach Jeff Kuna said.
East (5-2, 3-2) is on the doorstep of its first playoff berth. The Bengals probably need six wins, and they meet winless Plainfield Central next weekend.
Romeoville (3-4, 2-3), which can qualify with five wins, finishes against Oswego East and Minooka.
After East took the 7-0 lead, the Spartans had to punt. A bad snap and Michael McGee’s flying tackle produced a 20-yard loss and a Bengals first down at the Spartans’ 15. Two plays later, Jake Mahon (17 carries, 100 yards) scored from 14 yards out for a 14-0 lead with 7:30 left in the first quarter.
On its next possession, East drove 73 yards to Kotopka’s second short TD run, which was set up by Mahon’s 47-yard scamper. Kotopka rushed for 41 yards and completed 6-of-14 passes for 124.
“It was good to come out on fire like that,” Mahon said. “Our line was great all night, and we executed.”
“They beat us in the trenches. Their offensive line won the game,” Kuna said. “Our offensive line was not getting it done. Our backs ran hard, but they didn’t have enough blocking.”
The East defensive front, particularly Daniel Jackson, Donald Manning and Awais Arain, along with linebackers Cullen Rompa, Jovany Urbietta, Antonio Jameson and McGee, kept the Spartans out of the end zone until Miguel Ford’s 22-yard run with 2:37 left.
Romeoville managed 47 yards of offense in the first half and 176 overall. Gil Whitaker rushed for 89 yards and Ford for 75, but quarterback Kelvin Jones was limited to 5-of-15 passing for 23 yards.
“This was the biggest win in our program’s history,” East coach Mike Romeli said. “We keep telling the kids that every week is the biggest, and it is.”