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Warriors rally to beat Springfield

August 31, 2013
By JOHN VARGO - Tribune Chronicle ( , Underthelights

BROOKFIELD - Brookfield sophomore Kasey Tingler admitted he had a case of the jitters.

It had nothing to do with the rash of heat-related cramps strewn across Friday at Warrior Stadium.

The 5-foot-10, 165-pound sophomore knew with 2.8 seconds remaining on the clock, his foot connecting with the football and sending it more than 36 yards over the crossbar was what separated Brookfield from a victory and impending overtime.

"Keep my head in it. Keep my head down. Hopefully, it goes in," Tingler said of what he thought prior to the fourth-quarter kick.

The sure-footed Tingler boomed the ball through the uprights and into the night sky - capping Brookfield's comeback over Springfield, 30-27.

The Warriors (1-0), who reached last year's Division IV regional final against Norwayne, lost a good corps of seniors to graduation. Brookfield coach Randy Clark said a 24-pointfourth quarter proved the Warriors are a new, but not a depleted team this season.

"The one thing about Brookfield kids is they don't quit," he said. "The touchdown before the first half was big for us. We came in with a little momentum and they struck right away. Having a bunch of young kids and a bunch of kids that haven't seen the field, that was a helluva game to win right now."

Springfield rushed out to a 20-0 lead in the first half, but Brookfield finally broke through on a drive that started with 1:56 before intermission.

Nate Morrison's 51-yard run was the key play of the drive - setting up Augustus Necastro's 16-yard strike to Jamar Tarver in the back of the end zone as time expired in the second quarter.

"Other than three plays, I told them we're playing toe-to-toe with these guys," Clark said. "We got through our worst half and they played a pretty good half. We need to come out and play the best the second half and our kids reacted very well."

As for Springfield (0-1), the Tigers had their set of misfortune at intermission. Starting quarterback Hunter Snyder, who was 4 of 8 for 137 yards and two TDs, along with Hunter Snyder 10 carries for 91 yards and another score, didn't return in the second half.

He had more than the cramps other players suffered during the game. Snyder was weakened because of heat exhaustion and did not return in the second half. As the second half went along, Snyder became more hydrated with a steady stream of Gatorade being brought to him on the Springfield bench.

Enter sophomore Graham Mincher, who was 6 of 10 for 74 yards in the second half.

"Unfortunately, he was a little dehydrated," Springfield coach Sean Guerriero said. "It's been a great battle between those two. He came in there and kept it rolling. We couldn't put it in the end zone."

The third quarter was quiet, but in the fourth quarter Brookfield's offense came alive.

Joe Clark's 5-yard touchdown scamper closed the gap to 20-13 with 10:48 remaining, but Springfield answered with a Ryan Kohler 45-yard score 2 minutes later.

Nate Morrison, who had a 5-yard touchdown with 6:21 left, pulled the Warriors within 27-20. Morrison led Brookfield and all rushers with nine carries for 98 yards.

"Nate did a really good job on the ball," Clark said. "We went to a two-back set because I thought they were keying in a little bit on Joe. So we went with a two-back set with a misdirection with Nate. It ended up working."

Then, Necastro tied the game at 20 with a 21-yard run with 2:12 remaining.

"He's growing," said Necastro, who was 15 of 27 for 204 yards and one touchdown thrown. "He just turned 16 and he's a 4.0 student. He's only going to get better. He knows the game. He studies the game. I'm not going to say he's not going to give you no 40-yard run, because I think he did tonight. He's able to do that. He can bring that to the table. He's so smart. He's so competitive and he loves the game."

However, for those last 2.8 seconds, after Tingler's kick and the subsequent kickoff to Springfield, it was like time stood still for Necastro.

"It was like a lifetime," he said. "Then the kickoff took forever. It felt like an hour."

INJURY UPDATE: Brookfield sophomore Caleb Hunkus suffered a head injury on a pass play near halftime and was taken to the hospital.

"They said he vision was blurred," Clark said. "He got hit on top of the head. We'll see what happens. It was just precautionary. I hope everything works out."



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