Erik Jacobsen, Andy Rohr and Brandon Mangia area all out in Genoa for The Courier News Game of the Week between Genoa-Kingston and Hampshire. They're reporting the weather is perfect for some playoff football. We'll try to keep you updated throughout the night on all the area action.
7:14 -- Hampshire has started the scoring early. With 7:38 left in the first quarter, the Whip-Purs converted on fourth-and-four when James Goebbert hauled in a 20-yard touchdown pass from QB Evan Brenner.
The Whips got to start the drive near midfield after Ron Laramie picked off G-K QB Chris Wilkins.
So Hampshire capitalizes on an early Cogs mistake.
7:20 -- It didn't take long for the Cogs to retaliate. T.C. Holterhaus had a nice kickoff return to put G-K on the Hampshire 30-yard line. Six plays later, Holterhaus strikes again when he catches a 5-yard TD pass from Wilkins with 4:24 left in the first quarter.
We might be looking at a wild one out in Genoa.
7:24 --Shootout it is. Hampshire retakes the lead on a 34-yard strike from Brenner to Bo Price. Whips needed only four plays to get back in the end zone. PAT no good, so the lead is only 13-7.
7:28 -- The scoreboard operator's fingers might cramp up before this is over. Genoa-Kingston takes the lead 14-13. A 41-yard rush by Wilkins sets up his 31-yard TD pass to Nick Lopez. There's 2:46 left in the first.
Ryan Muir has made both PAT kicks for the Cogs.
7:40 -- The second quarter begins with the fifth straight drive culminating in a score. Joe Moore caps a 10-play Hampshire series with a 9-yard TD run. Brenner's PAT kick bounced off the upright, so the lead is only 19-14 with 9:25 left before halftime.
7:42 -- Huntley, making its second ever playoff appearance, is leading Batavia 14-7 after one quarter.
7:44 -- Genoa-Kingston isn't wasting any time. The Cogs needed only 1:07 to reclaim the lead. Wilkins connects again with Lopez for a 24-yard TD. Erik Jacobsen says it was a great catch by Lopez in the back left corner of the end zone. Muir is now 3-for-3 in PAT kicks to make it 21-19.
Even if G-K can hold Hampshire without a score, don't expect the Cogs to relent on offense. I was out in Genoa for the Cogs' first-round game against Herscher last year. Even with the lead, G-K opted for an onside kick in the second half to keep pushing the advantage. And I like the Cogs coach Bill McCarty is willing to make those kinds of aggressive calls.
7:50 -- G-K gets a stop. Hampshire can't convert on a fourth-and-two near midfield. That ends a streak six straight possessions by both teams with a score.
7:51 -- Other updates around the area. St. Charles North and Crystal Lake South are tied at 7 in the second quarter. Bartlett has a 3-0 advantage against Notre Dame and it's close to halftime in that game.
7:54 -- Hampshire catches a break. After Wilkins breaks a long run to put G-K at the 1-yard line, Wilkins fumbles on the goal line the next play. The ball goes out of bounds and the refs give the Whip-Purs the ball at their own 20.
8:09 -- Genoa-Kingston extends its lead going into halftime as Muir drills a 42-yard field goal at the buzzer. Cogs take a 24-19 advantage into the intermission.
Hampshire's Brenner was shaken up on a play and left the field. No word on if he'll be back in the second half.
8:26 -- Huntley and Batavia refuse to be outdone by G-K and Hampshire. The Red Raiders lead the Bulldogs 35-21 at halftime as both teams combined for three TDs in the final minute. Huntley had two, Batavia the other.
Jordan Neukirch and Brett Kleckner each have two TD runs for Huntley in the first half.
8:29 -- Bartlett still ahead 3-0 as the second half begins. Notre Dame's QB is apparently out with a serious injury.
8:37 -- Genoa-Kingston is losing the turnover battle. Hampshire's Goebbert picks of Cogs QB Chris Wilkins for the second time and the Whips march 62 yard to retake the lead 27-24 after a successful 2-point conversion. Joe Moore put the finishing touches on the drive with a 1-yard TD run. There's 6:35 left in the second half.
8:51 -- The Cogs just keep killing themselves. Hampshire has picked off G-K four times. Three have come against Wilkins and Holterhaus threw one on a flea-flicker. Goebbert has three of those interceptions for the Whip-Purs.
G-K does have the ball with 1:08 left in the third quarter. Hampshire had a chance to get some separation by a penalty on its last drive forced a three-and-out.
8:53 -- Bartlett had gone ahead 10-0 after a 1-yard run by Fabian Libreri, but Niles Notre Dame took it right back and scored to get within 10-7 with 4:48 left to play in the game. Looks like a nail-biter as Notre Dame's QB Eric Hennessey is back in the game.
9:01 -- Hampshire does extend its lead to 34-24. G-K had the ball in Hampshire territory but Wilkins was sacked on a fourth-down play by the Whip-Purs Diego Bilanos. Hampshire took over and five plays later, Laramie scores on a 27-yard run.
But G-K has the ball back and is driving with just under 10 minutes to go in the game.
9:07 -- Another quick strike for the Cogs. G-K is within 34-31 after a five-play drive that took only 1:01. Garrett Johnsen finishes it off with a 2-yard TD run. Muir is money again on the PAT kick.
9:08 -- Final for Bartlett. The Hawks get the ball back and chew up the rest of the clock for a 10-7 win. Probably closer than some expected from a No. 1 going against a No. 16, but that probably says more about the East Suburban Catholic Conference where Notre Dame toils during the season.
9:12 -- Genoa-Kingston gets a big stop. The Cogs force Hampshire to punt near midfield. Holterhaus fields it at the G-K 20 and brings it forward eight yards. So... the Cogs down by 3 with the ball on their own 28 and 4:49 left on the clock. ... It doesn't get much better than this.
9:16 -- The Red Raiders holding on to a 49-42 lead against Batavia as the fourth quarter begins out in Huntley.
9:18 -- Not high school football related, but the Blackhawks game is on TV and they're doing some promotion at the second intermission where people try to shoot the puck past a cardboard goalie placed in front of the net. Just a thought, but maybe they should have just had Nikolai Khabibulin out there. Then again, he lets in so many softies that they'd run out of prize money.
And Svengoolie is at the Hawks game, too. His shot at the net was pretty bad. But he did bring out a rubber chicken, so hey...
9:20 -- St. Charles North in trouble. The North Stars trail 24-14 in the fourth quarter of their game against Crystal Lake South.
9:23 -- How about this for a finish. Chris Wilkins scrambles for a 34-yard touchdown to put G-K back on top of Hampshire 38-34.
Hampshire gets the ball back and faces fourth-and 14 from its own 20. Brenner drops back to pass and its..... incomplete. The Cogs get the ball back with 1:35 on the clock. That should be the ballgame.
9:35 -- It gets wilder out in Huntley. The Red Raiders lead Batavia 63-49 with eight minutes left in the fourth quarter.
9:36 -- Alex Lawson and Sports Editor R.J. Gerber, who are also in the Command Center, inform me that Huntley and Batavia have already broken the record for combined points in a playoff game. The old record was 106. The Red Raiders and Bulldogs are already at 112 (for those of you who don't like to do math).
9:41 -- The final out in Genoa was 38-34.
9:42 -- Batavia scores again to get within 63-56 against Huntley.
9:44 -- St. Charles North is going home. The North Stars fall 24-21 against Crystal Lake South.
9:55 -- It's a final out in Huntley. The Red Raiders hold on for a 70-63 win against Batavia.
For those upset that I didn't mention the hockey score earlier that too is a final. Hawks over the Stars 5-2. Andrew Ladd was spotted on the ice.
10:15 -- Other scores of interest...
Waubonsie Valley loses 35-17 against Lincoln-Way East. Upstate Eight Conference cannon fodder right there.
Big Northern West looking good as Oregon slams Peru-St. Bede 34-7 and Stillman Valley crushes Rockford Christian 58-14. Both those teams are in 3A.
We'll get all the scores up when they're available.