Jordan Kemp, Lockport barrel over Andrew

Porters run for 379 yards, move a win away from playoff eligibility

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LOCKPORT – After losing three straight games, Lockport approached its matchup with Andrew as a playoff game.

The Porters then went out and ran away with a victory.


Jodan Kemp scored a pair of second-half touchdowns as the Porters ran for 379 yards and barreled over Andrew 41-16 in a Southwest Suburban Conference crossover on Friday at Lockport.

Kemp didn’t touch the ball until the second half. When he did, the senior running back was explosive as he had 10 carries for 132 yards and the two touchdowns.

“It was huge,” Kemp said of the victory. “We didn’t feel like we should have lost three straight so it was nice to come out here and get a W.”

Leading 17-3 at halftime, the Porters (4-3) were looking to add to that when they got the ball to open the third quarter. But they fumbled on the first play from scrimmage and junior Jake Monahan recovered at the Lockport 22.

Two plays later, junior Brady Tanquilut took it in from 7 yards out. The snap on the extra point was bobbled but that still made it 17-9 less than a minute into the second half.

Two weeks prior to that, Lockport saw a 24-12 halftime lead slip away in a 38-32 loss at Bradley-Bourbonnais. But thanks to Kemp, that wouldn’t happen this time. The senior running back, who transferred from Bolingbrook this past summer, carried the first five times for 44 yards in a nine-play, 89-yard drive. He capped it off with a 20-yard touchdown burst to extend the lead to 24-9 midway through the third quarter.

“It’s just how it goes,” Kemp said of not getting any carries until the second half. “Coach trusts all of us running backs plus (senior quarterback) Drew Gallagher to run the ball. In the first half, the linebackers were cutting in on me and that left Drew open to run.

“The offensive line (seniors Christos and Nici Alexandros, Connor McDowell, Charlie Priovolos, and junior Connor Cronin) does great and made it easy. Once I get the ball and get in the mode, I have some great vision.”

The Thunderbolts (3-4) stayed in the game as junior quarterback Drew Silva scored from a yard out on a fourth-and-goal play with 30.5 seconds left in the third quarter to make it 24-16.

Lockport came right back with a 77-yard drive that stalled at the three. But senior Nate Blazewski boomed his second field goal of the game, from 20 yards out, and the lead was back up to 27-16. Then senior defensive back Danny Stevens, who had a nice all-around game, had an interception.

That set the Porters up at the Andrew 45. On third-and-one, Kemp galloped around the right side for a 36-yard touchdown to cap his night and make it 34-16 with 3:38 to play.

“We’ve been rotating running backs and when you have kids that work hard and make plays, you have to reward them,” Lockport coach George Czart said. “Jordan runs hard and runs over people. You always see him going forward.

“I like that he runs low and hard. He’s had to earn it and he’s accepted that challenge. This was a real important game to show that we’re a good team.”

After the T-Bolts turned the ball over on downs, Lockport capped the scoring in the final minute when senior Chase Creed rumbled in from 10 yards out for a touchdown.

Andrew kept the ball for nearly seven minutes to start the game but was stopped a yard short of a first down on a fourth-and-three play at the Lockport 30. That led to senior Elijah Beltran barreling in from a yard out with 1:44 left in the first quarter.

Junior Luke Herzic answered with a 37-yard field goal for the T-Bolts. But Gallagher garnered a 16-yard touchdown run midway through the second quarter, and Blazewski booted a 26-yard field goal in the waning seconds of the first half as Lockport led 17-3 at intermission.

Gallagher finished with nine carries for 124 yards and the TD. He was also 7-of-9 passing for 48 yards. Plus, for the first time all season, he played defensive back and had some solo tackles.

“It’s two different mindsets but I really looked forward to playing defense,” Gallagher said. “I was playing defensive back the last couple games of last year.

“Jordan doesn’t go down easy. He’s strong and hits the hole like no other. It was a little hard when we fumbled to open the second half. The coaches weren’t happy but we came back and made it work. It’s nice to get a win.”