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.