by Mike Pink, Staff Reporter
The Wheeling vs. Buffalo Grove football game on Friday Oct. 5 before the Homecoming dance lived up to the hype.
Brent Pearlman, varsity football coach, and the Cats went into the game hoping to improve to a 3-4 record and send the Bison home with a 1-6 record.
That is exactly what they did.
“I think our kids fought, and our defense kids really fought,” Coach Pearlman, said. “They really showed tremendous resilience. Our goal for tonight was to fight and be better as far as competing every single play, and from what I saw at the sideline, I think we are doing that.”
The game was scoreless for virtually the whole first half until Isaac Branch, sophomore running back, ran for a 30-yard touchdown with one minute left.
After the halftime festivities and fireworks concluded, the Cats and Bison went right back to the basics by playing tough defense.
Just as things seemed to be going in the Cats’ direction, Amani Dennis, sophomore quarterback and wide receiver, threw a pic-six at the end of the third quarter tying the game at 6-6.
On WHS next drive, a 69-yard touchdown run was negated due to a holding penalty that resulted in Buffalo Grove recovering a fumble at the Wheeling 17-yard line.
Afterwards, Dennis was sacked in the endzone for a safety, resulting in a 8-6 Bison lead.
“It was great to have a step in the right direction for our program, even though we didn’t play our best football,” Jack Anderson, senior wide receiver and defensive back, said.
The game seemed to be all but over once the Cats were forced to punt the ball back to the Bison with three minutes on the clock.
Two plays after the Bison got the ball back, Tyler Urban, sophomore wide receiver and defensive back, recovered a botched quarterback pitch resulting in a game-winning touchdown by Sam Yoshino, junior running back and linebacker and wide receiver.
“I couldn’t have been more proud,” Mike Yoshino, senior quarterback and wide receiver, said “Prior to the game, I told him (Urban) to have a special night, and that was one heck of a way to get that done.”
Bison had ball-security issues the whole game resulting in 10 fumbles; four of which were recovered by The Cats.
“I just feel really good for the kids,” Coach Pearlman said. “They have worked really hard.”
Fans rushed the field once the clock struck zero, sending the WHS students to Homecoming with pride in their back pockets.