FOOTBALL: Herscher rallies to win late; advances to 3A semifinal
HERSCHER — If you’re not already on the Herscher bandwagon, you might want to be.
A perfectly executed two-minute drill propelled Herscher to a 24-20 win over Monmouth-Roseville in the IHSA class 3A Quarterfinal at Seebach Stadium Saturday.
The win pushes the Tigers into the state semifinals for the first time since 1988.
Herscher has now won three straight games overall after a 5-4 regular season.
“This team has really come together the past three weeks.” Herscher coach Dan Wetzel said. “We really started playing for each other and started believing in each other. We also realized how good we can be when we step outside of our comfort zones. We are starting to play some top notch complimentary football in all three phases of the game.”
After turning over Monmouth-Roseville on downs in the games opening possession, Matt Dorsey capped off a six-play, 45-yard drive with a 13-yard touchdown run to give the Tigers an early 7-0 lead.
Monmouth responded a few possessions later by driving 65 yards down the field, mostly through the air before C.J. Daniel ran into the end zone for a one-yard touchdown to cut the lead to 7-6.
Carter Hendrix hit Cam Berns on a 20-yard pass completion on fourth-and-five late in the first half to keep the Tigers drive alive before Hendrix improvised on a broken play and found 6-foot-7 wide receiver Maxx Becker on a eight-yard touchdown.
“Prove them wrong and move on.” Becker said. “That’s been our philosophy.”
However, Monmouth wasn’t going out without a fight as Jamonny Skinner scored on a perfectly timed yard hook-and-ladder play that went 44 yards for a touchdown on the final play of the first half tying the game at 14-14.
Herscher lost fumbles on its first two possessions of the second half but the defense held strong turning over the Titans on downs one possession before Reece Tobeck recovered a fumble ending another. Jacob Schultz kicked a 27-yard field goal at the end of third to give the Tigers a 17-14 lead after three quarters.
Monmouth-Roseville put together a 12-play scoring drive that resulted in an Addison Fletcher one-yard touchdown on a quarterback sneak up the middle that gave the Titans a 20-17 lead with only 2:29 remaining in the game.
With the season on the line and backs against the wall, Hendrix and company seized the moment, parading down the field before Hendrix scored from 10-yards out with just under 50 seconds left to give Herscher a 24-20 lead.
“I feel more confident in my team than I ever have.” Hendrix said. “We never fold when we get down on the scoreboard and we usually pull through and if we don’t we leave everything out on the field.”
Dorsey ended any last second touchdown hopes for the Titans when he intercepted Fletcher and sealed the win for the Tigers.
“We did this not only for ourselves but for our coaches, our school and our town.” Dorsey said. “After going to the quarterfinals three straight years it feels great to push the program forward in my senior season.”
Hendrix finished 8-of-13 passing for 84 yards and touchdown while rushing 14 times for 87 yards and another touchdown. Dorsey finished with 106 rushing yards and a touchdown while adding 51 yards receiving on four catches.
Schultz added 32 yards rushing and Berns had 25 yards receiving on three catches. Becker added one catch for eight yards and a touchdown.
Herscher to take on undefeated Byron next week and is now one win away from a state championship appearance.