MICHIGAN CITY, Ind. — Similarities of two heartbreaking defeats a season ago returned for Michigan City Friday.
Once again, a last-second pass was able to snatch a win away from the Wolves and allowed visiting Illinois Class 8A No. 4 Homewood-Flossmoor to escape with a 33-30 victory in overtime.
Vikings quarterback Dominick Jones’ 11-yard touchdown pass to Isaiah Stanback on the final play of overtime sealed the thrilling win and set off a wild celebration on the Homewood-Flossmoor sideline.
“It’s frustrating, I’m at a loss,” Wolves coach Phil Mason said. “I’m broken because it has happened to us three times. Valpo, LaPorte and now this.”
Michigan City, the No. 3 team in the Indiana Class 5A coaches poll stood up to the challenge against the perennial Illinois powerhouse.
“We got Michigan City in overtime against one of the top 50 teams in the country in two years,” Mason said. “Our defense played unbelievable all night. For that team not being able to run the ball on us, for them to have to go into the sets, the wildcat sets that they had to go into to move the football says a lot about what we were doing defensively.”
The Wolves had to overcome an early first quarter 14-0 hole A blown coverage in the defensive secondary led to Homewood’s Jones finding a wide open Maurion Scott for a 60-yard touchdown pass. Moments later Wolves quarterback Bryce Hayman took an unfortunate hit causing a fumble that was scooped up by H-F’s Charlie Brooks for a 34-yard TD return.
Michael Bradford scored on a 3-yard run to get City on the board in the second quarter.
After trailing 21-7 at the half, the Wolves defense held on Homewood’s first possession of the second half. Kameron Muhammad started the third quarter rally with his 6-yard scoring run. Then Lyric McFarrin received a shanked punt and returned it 50 yards to close the gap to 21-19.
The Vikings answered by running several plays out of the wildcat formation aided by a questionable late hit penalty by Wolves safety Marquan Hurt to set up a 10 yard TD run by H-F’s Cameron Wright. A bad snap on the extra point kept it a one-score game at 27-19.
City finally tied the game 27-27 on a Hayman to Zenon Wilhelm 51 yard pass and a Hayman to Justin Wozniak pass for the two-point conversion with 7:42 left in regulation.
The Wolves continued to hold defensively was able to get the last possession of regulation at its own 49 with 2:35 on the clock. A pass interference penalty put City in field goal range. But on the next play, Hayman attempted a sideline pass that was picked off by Homewood’s LaVoise McCoy to end the threat with 19 seconds to go.
Homewood won the coin toss for the overtime period and elected to defend. The Wolves scored first taking it’s only lead of the game on Riley Shreve’s 22-yard field goal. The H-F defense was able to keep City out of the end zone despite a pass interference call during the goal line sequence before the ensuing game-winning series.
“We hang our hat on our defense, Homewood-Flossmoor coach Craig Buzea said. “They had their backs against the wall at the end of the game, and they reacted when we needed them to.”
It was Homewood-Flossmoor’s season-opening game while the Wolves fall to 1-1 heading into the Duneland Conference schedule with a visit to Chesterton next Friday.