The Sterling Newman Comets took over on downs at the Monmouth-Roseville 49-yard line with 5 minutes, 48 seconds left, clinging to a five-point lead.
What followed was a string of plays that seemed like someone was hitting the repeat button on some remote control. The result was a nail-in-the-coffin touchdown run by Brian Bahrs that sealed a 26-14 win in the second round of the Class 3A playoffs Saturday at Roscoe Eades Stadium.
Nick Rude, the workhorse for the Comets with 27 carries and 179 yards, started the drive with a 7-yard run to the 42. After that, it was a barrage of 3- and 4-yard plunges by Brian Bahrs, Rude and sophomore Dillan Heffelfinger which ate clock and forced the Titans to burn all three of their timeouts.
Bahrs wrapped it up with a 1-yard TD dive on fourth down with 1 minute, 3 seconds left.
“I love it when we start hitting those 4- and 5-yard plays,” Bahrs said. “We know that takes it out of the other team, and it just gets us rolling down the field. We like big plays, but Newman football is to grind it out.”
“It starts on their line and continues with their backs. They just wear you down. You know it’s going to be tough when you see all those state champions in wrestling in the backfield,” Monmouth-Roseville coach Jeremy Adolphson said.
The Comets (11-0) will travel to Wilmington (9-2), in next week’s quarterfinals.
Class 1A: Stark County blasted Mooseheart 52-14 Saturday while Ottawa Marquette fell to Forreston 35-34 in overtime. The Rebels and Cardinals will meet for 1A quarterfinal action in Wyoming.
Class 2A: Annawan Wethersfield remained in the 2A hunt, traveling to Downs where it beat Tri-Valley 16-12. The Titans (10-1) will travel to Clifton Central (10-1), which was a 28-0 winner over Carthage Illini West in quarterfinal round play next week.
Class 4A: Coal City stopped host Geneseo 12-10 while West Central champ Macomb fell to Peoria Notre Dame 41-21 at Peoria Stadium.
Class 6A: Ottawa rallied from a 20-7 fourth-quarter deficit to stun Rock Island 21-20 at Ottawa Saturday. The Pirates (11-0) will travel to Crete Monee (11-0) in a battle of unbeatens in the 6A quarterfinals.