MINOOKA – The night began with all the festivities of homecoming and after the first drive, it appeared as though the Indians were set to put on a show for the large crowd.
Minooka moved the ball down the field following a Plainfield East onside kick to start the game. Two Jake Czerniakowski completions and two Nathan Gunn runs later, the Indians were up 7-0 over the visiting Bengals.
And it appeared the Indians were ready to get the ball back after only one Bengal first down. But on 4th and long, the Indians were called for roughing the kicker on a Plainfield East punt allowing the visitors to keep the ball.
Four plays later, Bengal quarterback Cole Kotopka hit Brandon Rivera across the middle for what turned into a 66-yard score to tie the game at 7 just under the seven minute mark of the first quarter.
Minooka’s next possession began at their own 10. On the first play of the drive, a bad snap allowed the Plainfield East defense to score a safety, making it 9-7 Bengals.
Following the Minooka free kick, it took East only 3 plays to score again on a 30 yard strike, making the score 16-7 at the 5:20 mark.
The Indians moved the ball a bit on their ensuing possession but had to punt, downing the ball at the Bengal 8. The Minooka defense held but a 61 yard punt turned the field. On the Indians first play, Czerniakowski’s pass was intercepted and returned 10 yards for another Bengal touchdown, ending the first quarter with the visitors leading 23-7.
The teams traded touchdowns in the second quarter. Czerniakowski hit Zachary Zamora for a 25 yard touchdown to cut the score to 23-14 at the 9:10 mark.
However, the Indians defense could not stop the Bengal offense as they went 11 plays in just over 4 minutes to extend the lead back to 30-14. On the ensuing Minooka drive, Gunn ran the ball in from 5 yards out to end the first half scoring at 30-21, Bengals.
The third quarter went by with both offenses unable to do anything. The Minooka defense forced a turnover and held on a 4th and short but the offense turned the ball back over to the Bengals on a fumble as the quarter expired.
The Bengals scored another touchdown early in the 4th quarter to extend the lead back to 16, 37-21.