YORKVILLE – Kyle Gettemy sat at the edge of the end zone, spent. Eye black dripped from his face as teammates and students leaned down to offer congratulations.
They were the only visitors he was allowing in that personal real estate.
Gettemy and Jake Davies led a Yorkville surge that stuffed Moline’s Riley Fuller on fourth-and-goal at the 1-yard line to end the fourth overtime.
The make-or-break conclusion gave the Foxes a dramatic 34-31 win over Moline in four overtimes in a Class 7A second-round game. And it sends Yorkville, in the second round for the fourth consecutive time, to its first quarterfinal since 1999.
“You have to think about what this game means. The game meant everything. You fill your gap as hard as you can, and you make plays. You got one thing to do – don’t let them in the end zone,” said Gettemy, a senior linebacker. “I had to hit somebody. Fill my gap. Do my job and hit somebody.”
Moline (9-2) looked on the doorstep of its first-ever quarterfinal when Fuller knifed through the line for two runs to the 1-yard line.
Yorkville (10-1) called timeout, then turned away Moline quarterback Grant Sibley for no gain on third down.
And then the Foxes did it again.
“We just wanted it more,” said Yorkville defensive lineman Andrew Laurich, a Colorado State recruit. “We realized this could be our last opportunity if they got in that end zone. It took all of us getting together to make a stop.”
No regrets from Moline coach Mike Morrissey to put the ball in the hands of Fuller, a four-year varsity player who had run for more than 1,600 yards this season behind four three-year starting linemen.
“We’ve leaned on our guys all year up front. One yard is one yard,” Morrissey said. “It’s hard to second guess it now. If you’d give me the opportunity again I’d take it again.”
The Foxes’ final stop made a hero of senior kicker Hudson Fiene.
On a windy evening, Fiene pushed a 36-yard field-goal attempt wide left to end the first half. But Fiene came back to make a long 35-yard extra point in the second overtime after an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty. Then Fiene drilled a 21-yard field goal to force the fourth overtime.
There, he split the uprights on a 29-yard field goal for a 34-31 Foxes lead, setting the stage for the dramatic conclusion.
“Into the wind, he’s been very reliable for us,” Yorkville coach Dan McGuire said. “He missed a field goal earlier but he was lights out after that. That’s tough to do.”
“He redeemed himself,” Laurich added.
Josh Gettemy’s 2-yard TD run with 8:21 left in the fourth quarter tied it 14-14, eventually forcing overtime. There the junior running back scored twice – on a 1-yard TD run in the first overtime and a 4-yarder in the second.
Gettemy, who made a spectacular one-handed grab for an 8-yard TD in the first quarter, ran for 95 of his 111 yards in the second half and the overtimes after Gio Zeman (15 carries, 73 yards) left the game with a shoulder injury late in the second quarter.
“I just needed to get in a rhythm. Once I got into a rhythm, I was good to go,” Gettemy said. “My O-line blocked great, fullbacks blocked great.”
And Gettemy ran hard, no surprise to big brother Kyle.
“I’m hoping Gio is OK, but I was confident in my brother,” Kyle Gettemy said. “He runs like a grown man.”
Moline led for nearly half the game, after a turnover midway through the second quarter.
Moline’s Adrian Cooper sacked Yorkville QB Michael Dopart and forced a fumble. Hyson Bei-Buie returned it 48 yards to the Yorkville 21. Two plays later, Fuller took a 19-yard TD around left end for a 14-7 Moline lead with 5:49 left in the second quarter.
And there the score stayed for nearly two quarters.
Yorkville’s defense kept it that way. Moline had as many punts, five, as first downs in the second half.
Finally, in a field position seesaw, the Foxes made Moline punt from its end zone, setting up Yorkville’s offense at the Maroons’ 26.
It took four plays to turn into Gettemy’s tying touchdown.
“It was about field position, winning that battle and then getting the ball back on offense,” Laurich said. “We had to give our offense the ball.”
Yorkville, which also reached double-digit wins for the first time since 1999, will to travel to face Batavia, a 19-13 winner over Hersey, in the quarterfinals Nov. 12.
McGuire said that before the game he took his players to the gym to point out the 1999 plaque for the team’s last quarterfinal appearance. Now they can add 2022 to it.
“Awesome. Awesome,” said Laurich, a three-year starter. “Me being a varsity starter a few years in a row, doing this, it’s just fantastic.”