It was a see-saw battle, but it was Oswego that pulled out the come-from-behind victory and third victory in a row in a 43-36 triumph over Plainfield East in a Southwest Prairie Conference contest played on a homecoming Friday night at Oswego High School.
It was Jack Kwiatkowski’s second touchdown reception from quarterback Ryan West that provided the winning margin for Oswego (3-2, 3-0). Plainfield East falls to 1-4, 1-2.
Kwiatkowski caught a 31-yard touchdown pass and tip-toed in the left side of the end zone. The pair hooked up for the two-point conversion as well with 1 minute, 30 seconds left in the game.
West was 15 of 24 for 205 yards for three touchdowns and Kwiatkowski had five catches for 80 yards and two scores.
“We had our struggles, but we never cracked,” West said.
“I don’t think we really got clicking until there was 1:54 left in the game,” Oswego coach Dave Keely said, who is in his fifth season and has a 31-16 record. “The kids played really, really hard when they needed to at the end of the game. They came up and made the plays when it really counted.”
Just 15 second into the game, Plainfield East’s Myles Walters started the game with a 94-yard kickoff return for a TD. Plainfield East recovered an onside kick and capitalized on it with Ryan Cohen’s 27-yard field goal. With 6:14 left, Plainfield East led 9-0.
Oswego finally got the ball after another onside kick was recovered by the Panthers. They didn’t keep it long. Five plays later, Oswego’s Josh Mapalo scored from two yards out with 4:27 left in the first.
Oswego took its first lead with 6:20 left in the second quarter, when Brett Wainwright (82 receiving yards, 33 rushing) scored from three yards out. The Panthers lost the lead when Plainfield East converted on fourth down with a 38-yard Robert Zamora scoring pass to Adrian Simbulan.
In the third, the game became back-and-forth. The Panthers went up 21-16 at the 9:10 mark when Mickeel Stewart ran in from 12 yards out. East bounced back on Zamora’s one-yard sneak at the 7:31 mark to make it 24-21 with the help of a Shekeal Taylor-from-Zamora connection on a two-point conversion play. Wainwright scored his second touchdown — a 63-yard reception from West — giving the Panthers a 28-24 edge heading into the fourth quarter.
Kwiatkowski’s 15-yard touchdown catch of a West pass with 8:52 left in the fourth padded the Panthers lead to 35-24. Plainfield East fought back to regain the lead. Juan Straughter (11 catches for 109 yards) snared a five-yard Zamora pass with 5:45 left and the run conversion failed, so East trailed 35-30.
After a three-and-out by Oswego, Taylor (22 rushes, 170 yards) capped a quick four play 53-yard drive with a one-yard plunge to make the score 36-35 with 2:05 remaining. A conversion pass from Zamora (27 of 45 for 236 yards and two touchdowns) to Walters failed.
With Friday’s game, the Panthers began their Plainfield month of their schedule. They are at Plainfield North on Friday, then return home to start October’s schedule against Plainfield South. On Oct. 14, Oswego travels to Plainfield Central before finishing the season with a home game against Minooka.
Next Friday, East plays host to Romeoville and then takes on city rivals Plainfield Central (2 p.m. Oct. 8 at Central) and Plainfield South (7 p.m. Oct. 14 at East). East travels to Oswego East to end the regular season at 7 p.m. Oct. 21.
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