Richards wide receiver A.J. Pwlecki leaps to snag a 38-yard touchdown pass during the Bulldogs’ 52-51 loss to Glenwood on Nov. 4. Photo by Jason Maholy
Football Class 6A Playoffs | Glenwood outlasts Richards in OT
By Jason Maholy
After one quarter of the second-round playoff matchup between Richards and Glenwood, it appeared the game might be a defensive struggle.
The Bulldogs scored on the game’s opening drive, but beyond that the two teams through the first 12 minutes of their IHSA Class 6A battle combined for three punts — including two three-and-outs — and one turnover on downs.
The action picked up a little bit from there, with the game ending in a 52-51 overtime win for the Titans in Oak Lawn.
Richards’ season ended on a failed two-point conversion, after the Bulldogs had matched Glenwood by scoring a touchdown on their first overtime possession. The Titans defense got penetration through the left side of the offensive line and stopped junior running back Myles Mitchell — who took the snap on the play — at the line of scrimmage, setting off a joyous Glenwood celebration.
“I’ll go for the win every time,” Richards coach Tony Sheehan said about going for two. “Our defensive guys were a little gassed, and I’m going to put the ball in Myles’ hands every time and go for the win.
“There was no second-guessing it. People can second-guess it; I don’t really care.”
So ended a high-octane affair that was filled with big plays and marred somewhat by no fewer than 15 penalties, including four personal fouls, between the two teams.
The 51 points are unofficially the most Richards has ever scored in a loss. Neither team ever led by more than seven points.
“I probably wouldn’t have believed them, Sheehan said when asked what he would have said if someone told him his team would score 51 points and lose. “Our kids didn’t quit, they kept fighting, and it’s been like that all year.”
Richards was on the cusp of victory after A.J. Pawlecki, possibly the shortest player on the field at 5-foot-6, made a leaping catch in the end zone for a 38-yard touchdown reception from Dijon Newman. That gave the Bulldogs a 45-42 lead with 36 seconds to play in the game.
That was enough time for Glenwood — aided by a roughing-the-passer call against the Dogs — to march deep into Richards territory and kick a 20-yard game-tying field goal as time expired.
Newman threw three touchdown passes and ran for another. Bulldogs senior wide receiver Riley Lamphere caught two touchdown passes.
Mitchell ran for two scores, including an inspiring effort in which he broke several tackles to get into the end zone and put Richards up, 38-35, with 4:37 to play. His other TD came in overtime.
Sheehan said his players bought in over the summer to coaches’ demands that they be tougher and do things a little differently.” The Bulldogs dropped their first two games of the season to eventual playoff teams Morgan Park and Libertyville before rattling off eight straight wins, including a first-round playoff victory over Hubbard.
“They just kept working every day,” Sheehan said of the team’s improvement as the season progressed. “They’re fun to be around. It was fun to see the growth and this group of seniors really led it.
“After last year, we said we needed to get tougher. We have some work to do still, but we’re on our way.”
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