ELK GROVE VILLAGE – In 1987, current Hoffman Estates assistant coach J.P. Moore made a decision to move his family from Hoffman Estates — where he’d made a lot of good memories — to Elk Grove Village, where he began what became a high school coaching career in the Mid-Suburban League.
Thanks to the Hawks keeping themselves focused on their task at hand, they registered another positive memory, evening their record on the season at 1-1 with a 42-6 triumph at Haskell Memorial Stadium, bouncing back from a one-point overtime loss.
Moore’s gig’s lasted for parts of five different decades, one that started at Elk Grove under Bob Henderson.
“We (as a family) made the decision to come here and give our kids the opportunity to go to school here,” Moore said before the Hawks’ MSL crossover clash at Elk Grove on Friday night.
“I got to see my boys (Jeff and Chuck) play at and (now) coach here at Elk Grove (as assistants to first-year Grenadier mentor and former Elk Grove football player Danny O’Donnell). It’s a little bit melancholy, because with the future MSL crossover schedule we wouldn’t play them again unless we meet them in the playoffs.”
It also brought Hoffman athletic director Steve Lacni, a former gridiron assistant at Elk Grove, back to those days.
“I remember coaching both of J.P.’s sons as well as Danny,” he said. “It does bring back memories.”
“Life lessons. That was pretty much our message (all week long in practice),” Hoffman Estates coach Tim Heyse said. “There’s a reason why things happen, and we let them (Buffalo Grove) back in (the game) last week, and we said (to the team), ‘Don’t give them that chance.’ ”
From the opening kickoff, they didn’t.
The Hawks took their first two drives into the end zone on the first of two touchdown runs by senior RB Quincy Williams (9 yards) and junior QB Nate Cleveland (1 yard) that left them ahead 14-0 with 7:20 left in the first quarter.
The period’s final play from scrimmage would be the game’s backbreaker. After a 61-yard Danny Pasterski punt placed Hoffman on its own 3 with just three seconds left, Cleveland (12 of 15 for 274 yards) heaved a bomb that senior Stephon Sellers snared at midfield.
Sellers then swerved through a pair of Grenadiers en route to a 97-yard scoring play that left the Hawks comfortably ahead, 21-0 entering the second.
“Before the play even started, I was looking at his (stance) and how he was playing (me) before then, and I knew I could get on his toes and make a play on him. just told (Nate) to (find) me,” said Sellers, who finished with 116 yards on two receptions.
Cleveland put the proverbial icing on the cake when he slalomed through the Elk Grove defense on a 49-yard run with 30 seconds left in the half to make it 28-0 at the break.
A second TD jaunt from Williams (5 yards) in the third in addition to Matt Lawson’s 6-yard scoring run on the first play from scrimmage in the fourth closed out the Hawks’ scoring. Williams finished with 69 yards on 12 carries, while Lawson combined for 148 yards rushing and receiving.
Elk Grove (0-2) got its only score on the night’s final play, Logan Tosterud’s 26-yard scoring toss to Ryan Tanner.