Barrington squeaks by tough Hoffman Estates squad

Nick Peipert and Barrington found a way.

In a game in which Barrington had difficulty running the football, Peipert's 1-yard touchdown run was the difference. The senior quarterback ran over the right side with four blockers in front of him for the winning score with 11.4 seconds to lift Barrington past Hoffman Estates 35-31 Friday.

"I am proud of the kids and our coaches with their resilience here tonight," Barrington coach Joey Sanchez said. "It wasn't our cleanest game. But there is something to be said to continually believe and battle."

Barrington (7-0, 3-0) remained tied with Palatine (5-2, 3-0) for the MSL West title. The two teams play next Friday at Barrington.

Barrington had trouble running the ball all evening. So the Broncos went to the air behind Peipert, who was 33-of-41 passing for 373 yards and 3 touchdowns.

"Coach (Brian) Stortz is a genius," Peipert said. "He keeps working up these plays in a game where we had trouble running the ball. And then I throw the ball up to my guys and they catch everything."

Peipert's touchdown run end a wild and crazy fourth quarter, which had four lead changed in the final eight minutes of the game.

The teams battled to a 14-14 tie at the half with Barrington bookending the four first-half touchdowns.

After an interception by Will Nazha at the Broncos 13 stymied a first-quarter drive for Hoffman Estates, Peipert went to work. The junior drove his team 87 yards in just four plays, connecting with Nazha for the final 57 yards and a 7-0 lead.

Hoffman Estates then came back to score a pair of touchdowns to take a 14-7 lead.

Quincy Williams capped a 10-play 67-yard drive with a slashing 5-yard touchdown run.

The Hawks were just as successful on their next possession. Nate Cleveland took his team on a 64-yard drive, ending it with a snappy pass to Ivan Rodrigues to take a 14-7 lead with 4:15 left in the half.

Barrington rallied to tie the game late in the half as Peipert connected with Matt Marusich on a 32-yard touchdown pass.

Hoffman Estates went back on top 21-14 on a 3-yard touchdown run by Cleveland.

Barrington answered right back as Dillon Fitzpatrick, who was limited to 8 rushing yards, crashed over from the 1-yard line to tie the game again at 21-21.

Hoffman Estates moved down to the Barrington 10. But a fumbled snap forced the Hawks to pull ahead 24-21 on a 27-yard field goal by Emanuel Correa.

Barrington moved the football right down the field thanks to some huge catches over the middle by Nahza (9 catches, 135 yards) and passes down the sideline that were caught by Marusich (6 catches, 65 yards)

"We were able to attack their middle," said Nazha, whose 14-yard reception on a crossing pattern gave the Broncos a 28-24 lead with 6:54 left.

Hoffman Estates (4-3, 1-2) refused to go away. Cleveland, who was 18-of-27 for 288 yards, kept hitting Stephon Sellers (8 receptions, 108 yards) to get the ball downfield. Williams (18 carries, 109) scored on 6-yard run to make it 31-28 with 4:30 to play.

Barrington looked as it would score again quickly. But the Broncos had a pair of penalties that moved them back to the Hoffman Estates 47, facing a second and 33. Miraculously they were able to convert the first down thanks to a long pass to Marusich and a pair off offside penalties by Hoffman on fourth an nine.

Barrington moved the mall to the Hawk five, where three plays later, Peipert scored.

"We battled," said Hoffman coach Tim Heyse, whose team has lost two games this season in the closing seconds.

"We had to fight to the end, they just made one more play than we did at the end."

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