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Huntley defense holds late to beat Dundee-Crown

Huntley quarterback KamerSallee is chased by Dundee-Crown's Cordero Pars(23) during Friday night's game Huntley.   | Michael Smart~Sun-Times Media

Huntley quarterback Kameron Sallee is chased by Dundee-Crown's Cordero Parson (23) during Friday night's game at Huntley. | Michael Smart~Sun-Times Media

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Updated: September 22, 2012 9:22PM

With the pressure on in crunch time, Huntley’s defense rose to the occasion Friday night.

Twice in the final six minutes visiting Dundee-Crown took over possession on Huntley’s half of the field, but both times the Red Raiders held their ground to preserve a hard-fought 31-28 Fox Valley Valley victory.

The final stop came when Chargers quarterback Garrett Ryan’s pass to JT Beasley fell incomplete on fourth-and-5 from Huntley’s 30-yard line. Beasley appeared to be tripped by a defender on the play, but no penalty was called, setting off a homecoming celebration as the Red Raiders claimed their third win in a row.

“We let up a few points and we had a few breakdowns, but we come out and fight no matter what down it is,” Huntley linebacker Brandon Mabry said. “When our back’s to the wall is when we play our best defense.”

Trailing 21-13 at halftime, Dundee-Crown (3-2, 1-2) seized momentum by scoring on its first two possessions of the second half.

Ryan hit Beasley for a 34-yard touchdown pass on the opening drive of the third quarter, and a two-point conversion tied the score at 21. Following a stop by the Chargers defense, Dundee-Crown found the end zone again as Cody Lane busted up the middle for a 55-yard touchdown run to make the score 28-21 with 2:33 left in the third.

Huntley (3-2, 3-0) had an answer on the next play from scrimmage, though, as junior running back Jake Scalise took off on a 68-yard touchdown run up the middle to tie the score at 28.

“It is probably the best feeling in the world when all you have to do is hand off the ball and just watch (Scalise) go all the way down the field,” Huntley quarterback Kam Sallee said. “That was the first time that play worked the way it was supposed to all year.”

Sallee provided the rest of Huntley’s points either with his arm or leg.

The 6-foot-2 senior connected on a 29-yard field goal with 10:37 left in the fourth quarter for what turned out to be the game-winning points. He also threw three first-half touchdowns and finished with 117 yards through the air and a team-best 93 yards on the ground.

Senior Bryce Beschorner was on the receiving end of two of the touchdown passes and finished with three catches for 87 yards. Jake Lackovic also added a 10-yard touchdown reception for the Red Raiders.

Ryan completed 13-of-20 passes for 208 yards and two touchdowns for Dundee-Crown. Trent Muscat had one of the scoring receptions for the Chargers, Lane totaled 96 yards on 18 carries and Beasley finished with three catches for 88 yards to go along with a nifty 95-yard kickoff return for a touchdown in the first quarter.

But afterward Beasley couldn’t hide his frustration about the contact he felt on his team’s final pass as well as Dundee-Crown’s inability to cash in on good field position down the stretch.

“That was pass interference,” Beasley said of the last play. “(The defender) was up on me. My feet got caught up with his and I fell.

“We need to do better. We had plenty of opportunities, The offense needs to pick it up. The defense kept us in it but we just didn’t score.”

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