High School Football

Arlington Heights scores with 31 seconds left to upend Crowley, keeps playoff hopes alive

When the Arlington Heights Yellow Jackets last met the Crowley Eagles in 2013, the Eagles ended Heights’ season in the b-idistrict round of the playoffs.

It looked late in Thursday’s game at Farrington Field as if the Eagles would once again put a damper in the Jackets’ playoff plans. Then, Heights quarterback Deontre Jones connected with Myles Brawley in a crowd for a 29-yard touchdown pass on fourth-and-15 with 31 seconds left in the contest for a 17-14 victory.

The win lifted Heights (5-3 overall) to 4-2 in District 3-5A Division I and in the thick of the postseason chase. Crowley (6-3, 5-2) had already clinched a playoff berth.

Heights had struggled all evening on third down, converting just four of 17 chances. However, the Jackets were 2-for-2 on fourth down on the game-winning drive that covered four minutes and 27 seconds going 75 yards.

The drive came after Crowley had taken a 14-10 lead on a 34-yard touchdown pass from Kevin Miller to MJ Tillman with 6:34 to play - followed by Heights fumbling the ensuing kickoff at its own 27.

The Heights defense held Crowley on fourth-and-8, however, and got the ball back.

Defense took the spotlight for most of the night, with Heights leading 3-0 at the half on a 43-yard field goal by Michael Somerville. Crowley took a 7-3 lead into the fourth quarter with a 13-yard touchdown pass from Miller to Raylyn Gavin late in the third quarter.

The Crowley defense held Heights on fourth-and-goal at the 1 early in the fourth quarter after the Jackets’ Javeon Moses returned an interception 36 yards to the 1 late in the third. A couple minutes later, Jones scored on a 3-yard run for a 10-7 Heights lead with 8:10 remaining.

The win was the first ever for Heights over Crowley, who had won the previous three meetings.

Game was over when: Crowley fumbled the ball out of bounds on the final play, attempting a hook-and-ladder play after completing a pass to the Arlington Heights 36-yard line.

Play of the game: Arlington Heights quarterback Deontre Jones connected with Myles Brawley for a 29-yard touchdown pass on fourth-and-15 with 31 seconds left in the game.

Offensive player of the game: Brawley caught six passes for 96 yards, but none bigger than the game-winner, a 29-yard reception amidst a couple Crowley defenders with 31 seconds left.

Defensive player of the game: The Heights rushing defense held Crowley to -17 yards on 21 carries.

Unsung hero of the game: Crowley quarterback was 23-for-35 for 281 yards and two touchdowns.

What’s next: Arlington Heights at Boswell, Nov. 2, 7 p.m. Crowley hosts Boswell, Nov. 9, 7 p.m.

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