Breaking It Down: Senior quarterback Tom Fuessel played on sore legs and ankles in the second half of Lincoln-Way East’s 35-20 football victory over Homewood-Flossmoor in a Southwest Suburban Blue showdown on Friday night in Frankfort. His arm was fine.
Fuessel threw a 38-yard pass to Justin Corbett to highlight a six-play, 64-yard knockout scoring drive. The Griffins (4-0, 2-0) punched the ball in on a 1-yard run by Brian Casey and extended their lead to 28-14. The Fuessel-to-Corbett connection came on a third-and-12 play from the East 34.
H-F (3-1, 1-1) closed to within 28-20 on 4-yard TD pass from Ronald Johnson to Taje Smith. But the Vikings’ point-after kick was blocked. And East closed the scoring on a 10-yard TD run by Casey with 35.5 seconds left.
Patch’s MVP: Tom Fuessel, senior, quarterback, Lincoln-Way East. He rushed for 121 yards on 16 carries and scored two touchdowns. He also completed 5-of-8 passes for 91 yards.
Homewood-Flossmoor Stat Pack: Ronald Johnson (15-of-24 passing, 104 yards, 2 TDs; 49 yards rushing on 15 carries), Taje Smith (116 yards rushing, 16 carries, 1 TD; 2 catches, 11 yards, 1 TD), Pat Sheehan (4 catches, 36 yards), Vashon Nutt (4 catches, 29 yards, 1 TD).
Lincoln-Way East Stat Pack: Tom Fuessel (5-of-8 passing, 91 yards; 121 yards rushing, 16 carries, 2 TDs), Brian Casey (50 yards rushing, 5 carries, 2 TDs), Justin Corbett (3 catches, 52 yards), Chris Pierie (1 catch, 34 yards), Nick Colangelo (29 yards rushing, 11 carries), Moe Almasri (1 interception).
Quotable I: “Coming into this season, yeah, I was known more as a run-style quarterback,” Lincoln-Way East’s Tom Fuessel said. “Now, we’re starting to pick it up in the passing game, and it’s a great time to pick it up, especially against a great team like H-F.”
Quotable II: “They’re everything we thought they were,” Lincoln-Way East coach Rob Zvonar said. “They had us on our heels on defense on a lot of the drives. I know we hung in there and got the ball back a few times. But I thought they were tremendous offensively. I was really proud of our offense. Thirty-five hard-earned points, big key plays when we needed them. And I think you saw something out of Tommy Fuessel. He can hurt you with his arm, not just his legs.”
Quotable III: “I was real disappointed in the last touchdown,” Homewood-Flossmoor coach Craig Buzea said after he confronted Zvonar. “We sat there and held them. They took a knee. I don’t know if our kids thought they were going to take another knee or whatever and they walked in. Yeah, our kids are going to fight. We’ve got a lot of young kids who just have never been in a situation like this. For the most part, to have a chance to win the game with 3-4 minutes left, I’m proud of them. But our program is not about moral victories. We need to knock off some of these guys before we feel like we can be a top-tier team.”
Team Records: Lincoln-Way East is 4-0 overall and 2-0 in the Southwest Suburban Blue. Homewood-Flossmoor is 3-1 overall and 1-1 in conference play.
What’s Next: Homewood-Flossmoor plays at Bolingbrook. Kickoff is at 7:30 p.m. on Friday, Sept. 21. Lincoln-Way East is at Sandburg on Friday, Sept. 21. Kickoff is at 7:15 p.m.
Scores of Interest: Sandburg 7, Lincoln-Way Central 3; Andrew 17, Lincoln-Way West 0; Notre Dame 22, Marian Catholic 9. For more scores, go to IHSA ScoreZone.com