South Elgin wins thriller to reach 2nd round

South Elgin survived and advanced. Barely.

Thanks to 3 touchdowns and 3 extra points from Kyle Steinhofer, No. 4 seed South Elgin outlasted No. 29 seed and upset-minded Belleville East 28-20 in Class 8A first round action in South Elgin Friday night.

The visiting Lancers end the season 5-5 while the Storm advance to the second round with a perfect 10-0 mark.

South Elgin will play Maine South next week. The No. 13 Hawks defeated No. 20 seeded Bolingbrook 24-20.

Steinhofer caught 7 passes for 95 yards including TD catches of 20 and 5 yards. He also scored on a reverse run of 12 yards.

"I just want to help the team win anyway I can," said Steinhofer. "We haven't been challenged all year and we needed this."

South Elgin coach Dragan Teonic realizes how valuable Steinhofer is.

"He is our MVP," said the Storm coach. "Steiny plays offense, defense and kicks. Big players make big plays in big games."

After Steinhofer's run and extra point conversion gave the Storm a 21-20 lead with 7:58 remaining, Teonic decided to onside kick. It was successfully recovered by Mason Montgonery.

"We wanted to get some momentum," said Teonic. "We executed perfectly."

An interception by Christian Tecza helped seal the deal for the Storm.

Junior quarterback Jake Sullivan completed 9-of-14 passes for 140 yards and 2 touchdowns to Steinhofer.

South Elgin, which ran the ball for 232 yards, got a 105-yard effort from Montgomery. Jordan Green ran the ball 17 times for 95 yards and a 5-yard TD run.

In a losing cause for the Lancers, Armon Pinson completed 15-of-20 passes for 163 yards, 3 touchdowns and a critical interception.

"Belleville East is a very tough good football team," said Teonic. "They play in a tough conference with East St. Louis, Edwardsville, Belleville West, Collinsville and O'Fallon."

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