Lockport outlasts Bolingbrook for overtime win

LOCKPORT — As a former standout linebacker at Bolingbrook as a 3-year varsity player in the late 70s, George Czart appreciates good defense.

Now, as head football coach at Lockport Township he still appreciated the defense from both his team and Bolingbrook on Friday night but he appreciated something else even more.

The victory.

That came when Ty Schultz scored on a tough 10-yard run on Lockport’s first play in overtime and fellow senior Gabe Czako booted the extra point as the Porters won a hard-fought game 14-13 in a SouthWest Suburban Conference Blue Division battle in Bolingbrook.

The win keeps the Porters (7-0, 3-0) undefeated and they host Lincoln-Way East (5-2, 2-1), a 24-6 winner over host Homewood-Flossmoor, next Friday in a bid to win their first SWSC Blue title. The Raiders (5-2, 2-2) are done with their Blue Division games.

“Yes, it was two good defenses out there,” Czart said. “They (the Raiders) made some incredible plays. It just came down to the first team that blinked.”

That ended up being Bolingbrook but not without some drama at the end of regulation. The Porters defense held on a fourth-and-five play by forcing an incomplete pass from their 23 with 3:19 to play in the game. Lockport then drove to the Raider 19 but Czako missed on a 37-yard field goal attempt with 11.1 seconds left in regulation. That kept the game tied at 7-7 and it went to overtime.

There, Bolingbrook got the ball first and senior running back Jaquan Howard (17 carries for 94 yards) ran to the two on first down. After no gain from there, senior quarterback Bobby Ervin scored from the two on third down. The extra point kick, however, was wide right and the Raider lead was 13-7.

Schultz then slammed in from the 10-yard line on the Porters first play in the extra period, Czako calmly nailed his extra point and the Lockport players stormed the field in celebration.

“I just wanted to score on the first play,” Schultz said. “The offensive line gets all the credit. It was just open on that (left) side.

“This is a pretty big win. We’re still getting better. We were down but I knew we’d come back to score.”

Schultz with 22 carries for 101 yards and scored both the Lockport touchdowns. Fellow senior running back Andrew LoPresti added 17 carries for 105 yards as the Porter passing game was held to 48 yards.

But the only ball flying through the air that mattered was the one from Czako that went between the uprights in overtime. His extra point made up for the earlier miss and made the 3-sport standout, who is also an outstanding defender on the Porter soccer team and one of the top hurdlers in the state, a hero in the victory.

“I felt good coming out for the field goal, I just didn’t get a good hit on the ball,” Czako said. “But my teammates all came up to me and encouraged me. I knew I’d be ready if I had another chance.”

Trailing 7-0 most of the game, Lockport finally scored when Schultz plowed in, fighting and carrying defenders for the last two-yards, on a second-and-goal play from the five with exactly 9:00 to play in the game. The scoring drive was 45 yards in 11-plays and Schultz carried on every single one of them.

Schultz was the Porter’s leading rusher as a sophomore but suffered an ACL injury in his left knee and had to sit out not only the spring season but the first two games this fall. He’s obviously back at full strength now and his grandfather, former Romeoville head football coach Dennis Schley was in attendance to watch him.

After taking over at its own 49, Bolingbrook overcame a second-and-20 situation and scored on its opening possession. That came when Erivn (7-of-14 for 76 yards, TD, INT) threw a 36-yard strike on fourth-and 11 to Kyan Berry Johnson and the sophomore wide receiver sped down the right side and made a great catch. That came with 5:09 left in the first quarter.

But he Raiders never reached the red zone the rest of the game. Danny Martisek had an interception for the Porters, who clamped down on defense after that.

“It was a battle with them but we have one of the best defensive lines in the state,” Lockport senior defensive lineman Paul Rasp said. “This win is kind of emotional. It’s the first step towards the state playoffs.”

Lockport had a trio of first half drives stall in the red zone, including being stopped a yard short of the end zone on fourth-and-goal and losing a fumble, which was recovered by senior defensive end Damarian Johnson.

“If this was the last game of the season I’d be upset,” said Bolingbrook coach John Ivlow, who was honored before the game for getting his 150th win last week. “But it’s not and I’m not. I told our guys there are games you have to be in and learn from. We lost to this team 42-14 in the spring and they have everyone back. So we’ve got better.”