ROCKFORD, Ill. (WTVO/WQRF) — It was one of the most improbable wins you’ll ever see. Something right out of a fairytale script if you’re a Boylan fan and a nightmare script if you’re a Sycamore fan.
Boylan rallied from a 16-7 deficit to beat Sycamore Saturday in the 5A quarterfinals on two long fumble returns for touchdowns by Boylan defensive back Xaiver Bryant.
Sycamore was driving early in the fourth quarter looking to put the game out of reach when the Spartans fumbled. Bryant scooped up the ball and raced 93 yards for a touchdown to make it a 16-13 Sycamore lead.
Then with 2:00 to play Sycamore was driving again, but again the Spartans fumbled and again Bryant grabbed the ball and sprinted 71 yards for a touchdown to give the Titans the lead 19-16.
If that wasn’t enough drama, Sycamore still had a chance to tie it up on the final play of the game, but Grant McConkey’s field goal attempt was blocked and the Titans celebrated while taking a deep sigh of relief at the same time. The Titans run their record to 11-0 and they stay alive in the playoffs.
“This year we haven’t had games like that go down to the wire. It’s good for us,” said Boylan coach John Cacciatore. “Now we’ve got to catch our breath, reboot and make sure we’ve got enough in the tank for next week.”
“All those seniors, man…all of them, I love them so much,” said Bryant. “I attribute that happened today to God. I’m just so thankful that I was able to be out here and do what I had to do for my team.”
“I knew he was going to take it to the house,” said Boylan running back/defensive back Dayvion Foreman. “That kid is fast. He has a lot of heart. That kid will fight for anybody and I’m just glad he was the one to pick up that ball twice and run them both back.”
Sycamore had 355 yards of total offense to Boylan’s 99. Sycamore had 282 yards rushing to Boylan’s 60, but three turnovers were the Spartans’ undoing.
The Titans advance to face Chicago St. Rita (8-3) in the 5A semifinals. For highlights click on the media player.