Football 8A Playoffs Second Round Playoffs Lincoln Way East vs. Neuqua Valley 11.04.22

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After a 37-0 win over Lane Tech, Neuqua Valley is back in the second round of the IHSA 8A State playoffs and look to reach the quarters for a second straight season. Although that slate is tough as the Wildcats take on the number one seeded Lincoln Way East Griffins in a rematch of the 2007 second round matchup that the Griffins won 43-14. This highlight is sponsored by BMO Harris Bank.

First Quarter

Wildcats have the ball on the opening possession. Mark Mennecke drops back to pass and finds a streaking Grant Larkin who hauls it for a 46 yard touchdown to put Neuqua up 7-0 early.

Griffins are now on their opening drive and it’s Braden Tischer with the answer passing to Jimmy Curtin who runs away from the Neuqua defense for a 45 yard score to tie this game up.

Second Quarter

Their offense is back on the field and they go for the running game with leading rusher James Kwiecinski who picks up 15 yard on the ground. They tack on a field goal to lead 10-7 at the break.

Third Quarter

Wildcats hope get something rolling in the third quarter but Mennecke’s pass is snagged out of the air by JT Poynton for the Griffin interception.

Tischer and company go back to work and he looks for Petey Olaleye making a nice catch that sets Lincoln Way East up inside the Redzone.

They keep on marching as James Kwiecinski takes the handoff runs to the outside and gets in for six. Lincoln Way East takes a 17-7 lead heading into the 4th quarter.

Deep in the 4th Quarter

Wildcats still trail by that margin deep in the 4th quarter so Mennecke tries to run it himself but takes a big hit and has to leave the game with an injury. Once again the signal caller cannot catch a break.

Ryan Mohler steps under center

So onto the field comes Ryan Mohler who throws one up to Larkin who picks up the first down a whole lot more. It’s a gain 60 yards putting the Cats near the door step.

A couple sacks pushes them back but Mohler has been in these situations and still throws a 32 yard touchdown to Carter Stare. Wildcats trail 17-14 with the onside kick coming up.

Lincoln Way East is moving on

Joe Cyrus Lines up for the kick but puts too much juice on it and the visitors recover. Lincoln Way East ends Neuqua’s season with a 17-14 win and will face the winner of Warren Township and Andrew High School in the quarterfinals. For more prep sports highlights, visit the Naperville Sports Weekly page!