Dominant 2nd quarter enough to power Hoffman Estates past Conant in shutout

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SCHAUMBURG – Hoffman Estates exploded for 28 points in the second quarter and made it stand up for a 28-0 win Friday night at Conant.

With the win, the Hawks keep the “Mayor’s Cup” for the fourth consecutive season.

Hawks quarterback Nate Cleveland threw three touchdown passes in the quarter to dampen the Cougars’ homecoming.

Cleveland passed for 161 yards, completing 7 of 16 with one interception. The win boosted Hoffman Estates to 4-2 overall and 1-1 in the Mid-Suburban West.

“It was all gas and no brakes in the second quarter,” Cleveland said. “I have some great receivers to throw to. We have to keep playing with consistency and play hard. It’s the little things we do that matter.”

Cleveland connected with Matt Lawson on a third down for a 23-yard scoring pass for a 7-0 lead. Emmanuel Correa kicked the first of four conversions.

Turning the ball over on downs at the Hawks’ 29-yard line, it took Cleveland three plays to loft a 66-yard touchdown pass down the left sideline to Stephon Sellers for a 14-0 lead midway through the quarter.

“We knew going in we would have to play a perfect game,” Conant coach Anthony Donatucci said. “Our defense didn’t make the right reads on some of those plays. That falls on us as coaches making sure our kids were in the right spot. But we played better in the second half.”

Jaimie Wisdom’s interception moments later at the Cougars’ 33 set up a Quincy Williams 1-yard run with 2:52 left in the first half.

Sellers (3 catches, 102 yards) caught his second touchdown of 31 yards with 1:35 left to finish the scoring.

“It’s an important game no matter what,” Hoffman Estates coach Tim Heyse said. “The cup was on the line, and we make it a big deal. We had players from last year to 10 years ago give the pregame talk to the players. The former players loved speaking to the team. It’s an honor for them.”

Heyse mentioned that when the Hawks turned the ball over on the 4-yard line in the first quarter, it was the first time that had happened this season.

“Next time we got the ball, it was boom, boom, boom,” Heyse said.

Heyse credited his offensive line of Zander Vanna-Teske, Adam Yaro and Joshua Fitch with providing Cleveland with protection.

Conant (3-3, 1-1) finished with 210 rushing and 21 yards passing.

Cooper Hanson was a workhorse for Conant with 151 yards on 36 carries.