Kenosha Indian Trail and Racine Horlick combined for 100 points as both teams tried to keep their playoff hopes alive on Friday night at Historic Horlick Athletic Field. Both teams pounded the rock from start to finish as they both had over 300 yards rushing as the Rebels came up on the winning end of the 51-49 score fest. 

“It was a track meet, whoever had the ball last was going to win this thing,” Racine Horlick head coach Brian Fletcher said. “Fortunately, that was us.”

Three plays into the game, Indian Trail quarterback LJ Dagen connected on a screen pass with running back Justice Lovelace to start off the scoring. On the ensuing possession, Racine Horlick answered with a ten play drive ending with a 15 yard touchdown run from DeShon Griffin to tie the game.

The Hawks responded on the next possession ending a six play drive with a nine-yard touchdown run from senior Jamar Thompson. After forcing a turnover, Lovelace added a 53-yard run to give Indian Trail a 21-7 first quarter advantage. 

With 8:54 remaining in the second quarter, Griffin cut into the Indian Trail lead with a second nine-yard touchdown run before Dagen added a 12-yard touchdown run to extend the lead back to two possessions at 28-13 with 7:27 remaining in the half. On the next possession, the Rebels added on a 51-yard touchdown run by Jeremy Cosey with a successful two point conversion to make it a one score game at 28-21 with 5:13 remaining in the half.

After being forced to punt, Indian Trail forced a fumble on a Carson Fletcher pass completion to Tommy Triggs to get the ball back before the half. On the final possession of the half, Indian Trail had a big run from Lovelace stopped at the halftime buzzer by Elijah Barajas and Jeremy Cosey that would have extended the lead further for the Hawks. 

“That was the play of the game,” Racine Horlick head coach Brian Fletcher said. “If they score, it is 35-21 at the half, and it is a different game at that point. The fact that we kept it a one score game with that hustle effort I think motivated us for the second half to grind it out.”

The score fest continued at the start of the second half as Cosey added on a nine-yard touchdown run and a Reggie Hubbard two-point conversion run to give the Rebels their first lead at 29-28. On the next possession, Dagen responded for Indian Trail with a one-yard quarterback keeper to give Indian Trail a 34-29 lead.

Horlick regained the lead on the next possession with a 54-yard touchdown run from Myles Gallagher and a second successful two point conversion from Hubbard to make it 37-34 with 5:30 remaining in the third quarter. After forcing a turnover on a fumble on the next possession in the red zone, Fletcher connected on a 28-yard touchdown pass with Hubbard to increase their lead to 43-34. 

With 4:59 remaining in the game, Dagen capped off a seven play drive for Indian Trail with another one-yard touchdown run to cut the lead 43-41. Racine Horlick responded on their next possession with a 28-yard touchdown run along with a successful two point conversion to push the lead to double digits at 51-41 with 46 seconds left in the game.

With Indian Trail needing a score to get back into the game, Dagen gave the Hawks a glimmer of hope with a 33-yard desperation pass completion to Lovelace in the end zone to make it a 51-49 game with 17 seconds left in the contest. Horlick recovered the onside kick on the next play to secure the win. 

“We got the ball and we knew we had to take the ball and score,” Indian Trail head coach Paul Hoffman said. “It was a great job by LJ to extend it and to get it to Justice in the end zone.”

Racine Horlick posted 426 yards rushing including 187 from Griffin, while Fletcher added 125 yards through the air. 

“We had a lot of guys that we sat for several reasons because we have some big injuries on the team,” Fletcher said. “We had some guys that had to step in and they stepped up big for us.”

Dagen was a dual threat at quarterback for Indian Trail with 154 yards passing and 132 yards rushing and had five touchdowns total in the loss. Justice Lovelace also had 201 yards rushing to lead the Hawks’ rushing attack. 

Horlick strengthens their playoff chances with the win as they improve to 5-3 on the season, while Indian Trail falls to 3-6. Horlick takes on Kenosha Bradford next week on the road, while Indian Trail takes on Racine Park on the road. 

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