PLAINFIED — In a big Southwest Prairie Conference battle Friday night, it was the Plainfield North Tigers defeating the Minooka Indians 28-20, permanently ending the Indians chances at getting a playoff birth.
It was another do or die week for the Indians, but unlike last week for Minooka, it had a tougher opponent this week in Plainfield North.
After both teams exchanged punts to start the first quarter, Minooka quarterback Joe Carnagio fumbled, giving the Tigers great field position inside the Indians 30. North capitalized a few plays later on an 11 yard touchdown grab from tight end Brett Fox, giving Plainfield the early 7-0 advantage.
The Indians responded with a Jake Stytz field goal to cut the deficit to 7-3 before the Tigers scored again, this time on a 14 yard touchdown pass from Kurt Paladench to Brock Thoms, giving North a 14-3 lead late in the second quarter.
A minute later, Minooka responded, driving down the field and scoring on a Nate Gunn 23 yard run to cut it to a 14-10 Plainfield lead with 2:38 left to go in the first half.
North seemed like they were going to get a quick score before the end of the half, but the Tigers killed themselves with penalties. Four flags in a row sent Plainfield from the Indians 18 to the Minooka 49, where Paladench was sacked, ending the half.
There was no carry over for Plainfield, however, as on the second half kickoff Kendall Interial 96 yards for a touchdown, giving North a 21-10 lead right out of the gate in the second half.
The Indians responded quickly, however, as Gunn scored again, this time from 13 yards out, two minutes later to make it a 21-17 game.
That was the score heading into the fourth quarter when junior running back Robert Baker for North scored on a touchdown run to give the Tigers an early 11 point advantage in the fourth quarter.
Minooka, desperate to score, came back down the field, but were only able to score on a Stytz field goal after Carnagio was brought down on a sack. The three points made it a 28-20 contest at the time.
After forcing a three and out, the Indians had the ball at their own 30 yard line with 4:30 left in the game, but couldn't score, turning it over on downs. Minooka received the ball once last time, but couldn't score again, as a last second trick pass went for an interception.
With the loss, the Indians drop to 3-5 on the season, ending their chances at qualifying for a playoff spot. Plainfield North clinches a playoff spot with the win as they improve to 6-2 on the season.