Breaking It Down: It looked ugly early for Oak Forest, but the bottom line is the Bengals rallied to defeat Thornton Fractional North 48-26 in the first round of the Class 6A football playffs Friday night in Calumet City.
It wasn’t until 3:30 was left in the first quarter that the Bengals had their first offensive possession, and they found themselves trailing 14-0. Meteor quarterback Dion Beecham found Claude Garrett for a score. The Meteors recovered the first of two on-side kicks and Beecham hooked up with Adam Combs for a score.
The lone highlight of the first half for the Bengals was a 18-yard touchdown run by Tevin Coleman. The Bengals trailed 20-7 at the half before completely dominating the second half. The Bengals outscored the Meteors 27-0 in the third quarter as quarterback Tom Zale scored on a short run, Coleman scored on the back-to-back plays and Matt Barry ran for a TD to put the game out of reach.
The two South Suburban Blue Conference rivals were meeting for the second time. Oak Forest won 42-12 on Sept. 23.
Patch’s MVP: Tevin Coleman, Oak Forest. Held in check during the first quarter, Coleman took over from there, scoring in the second quarter and twice on consecutive offensive plays in the third quarter.
Oak Forest Stat Pack: Tom Zale rushed for two touchdowns and passed for one, and Matt Barry gained more than 100 yards and scored two TDs on the ground.
TF North Stat Pack: The Meteors held a 226-62 advantage in total yards in the first half.
Quotable I: “I am proud of how we hung in there when we weren’t playing well in the first half,” Oak Forest coach Brian McDonough said.
Quotable II: “We were a completely different team in the second half,” McDonough said. “We need to play like that from here on out if we want to keep advancing.”
Team Records: Oak Forest improves to 7-3, while T.F. North ends its season with a 6-4 record.
What’s Next: Oak Forest advances to the second round to play Lemont.
Scores of Interest: Lemont 56, Morgan Park 30; Homewood-Flossmoor 48, Marist 28; Brother Rice 35, Sandburg 14; Wheaton-Warrenville South 23, Providence Catholic 16. For more scores, visit IHSA ScoreZone.