Richards quarterback Hasan Muhammad-Rogers knew he had to make something happen for his team with time ticking down Saturday.
The junior tied a Class 6A quarterfinal against Lincoln-Way North with an 18-yard touchdown run with 1 minute, 42 seconds left in regulation, then won it 12-6 with a 10-yard scoring run in overtime in Oak Lawn.
"As I looked around I saw a lot of heads down," Muhammad-Rogers said of his team, which trailed in the fourth quarter. "I'm a football player and this is what I do. I just knew we had to get a (score). The defense had been playing their hearts out all game. We got it going late."
Lincoln-Way North (10-2) had the advantage in field position for much of the first half. The Phoenix started in Richards territory on their first four possessions.
After starting on Richards' 32 on its second possession, Lincoln-Way North used 11 plays to reach the end zone. The Phoenix kept the drive alive by converting on a pair of fourth downs before quarterback Ryan Arthur scored on a 1-yard sneak with 1 minute, 50 seconds left in the first quarter. The score stood at 6-0 after the point-after attempt was blocked.
It was the first score in three playoff games against Richards, which had shutouts in five of its last six games.
Late in the second quarter, Richards (11-1) moved to Lincoln-Way North's 14 on a roughing-the-passer penalty, but the Bulldogs committed a personal foul on the subsequent play to help thwart their scoring chances.
"I didn't think we had it won," Lincoln-Way North coach George Czart said, "because of the flow of the game. We were having a hard time moving the ball on offense."
The Phoenix had the first possession in overtime, but Richards' Tacari Carpenter blocked Osvaldo Salazar's 21-yard field goal attempt.
Player of the game: Hasan Muhammad-Rogers, Richards, 15 carries, 40 yards, 2 TDs.
Key performers: Lincoln-Way North — Julian Hylton, 49 carries, 125 yards. Richards — Tacari Carpenter, 4 catches, 32 yards, blocked field goal.
Next: 6A semifinal, Richards at East St. Louis.Copyright © 2015, RedEye