The Effingham Hearts hosted the Mahomet-Seymour Bulldogs on Friday night in a nonconference matchup. Effingham is already out of the playoffs after their loss last week, but Mahomet-Seymour is on the bubble coming into the final week of the season.
Mahomet-Seymour is out of the Corn Belt Conference, where they got second place this season, but will move and join Effingham in the Apollo next year.
Effingham received the kick to begin the game but were forced to punt.
On Mahomet-Seymour’s first drive, quarterback Connor Thomas was scrambling out of trouble on a third and long play. Thomas got out of the trouble and lobbed a pass to Josh Johnson. Johnson tiptoed the sideline and broke a couple tackles to take it 76 yards for the first score of the game.
In the first half, Effingham’s offense was no where to be found. Their eight possessions in the first half resulted in five punts, two turnover on downs, an a thrown interception by Lucas Vasquez.
Meanwhile, the Hearts defense held strong for most of the half. After the early touchdown, Effingham held Mahomet-Seymour to three punts and a forced fumble that was recovered by Effingham.
The Bulldogs finally got another drive going later in the second quarter that ended in a nine yard touchdown run from Tristan Leever to go up 14-0 at halftime.
Mahomet-Seymour received the second half kickoff and took advantage. A 19 yard pass from Thomas to Johnson again, put the Bulldogs up by three scores. The extra point was blocked so the Bulldogs led 20-0.
Effingham’s offensive found it’s footing in the second half. Their first drive of the half found them in a fourth and short situation. The punt team was on the field for the Hearts but the ball was snapped to Terrence Hill who was behind the center, closer than the punter. Hill looked to pass and found Harrison Smith over the middle for the first down and extended the drive.
Later in the drive, Effingham quarterback Landon Wolfe found Grant Wolfe in the endzone from seven yards out. Grant Wolfe is usually on a defensive player, but as a senior, he was thrown in the offense while in the redzone and came up with his first catch of the year and second touchdown of the year as the senior returned an interception for a touchdown earlier in the year.
The extra point attempt from Danny Hortenstine was no good and Effingham trailed 20-6 early in the third quarter.
After forcing a punt, the Hearts offense was at it again. Terrence Hill, who was really bottled up all game, broke to the outside and took it 49 yards to the house for the touchdown. Effingham trailed by just one possession, 20-13.
The Effingham defense held strong again and gave their offense a chance in the fourth quarter. The offense did not disappoint as a 42 yard pass from Wolfe to Hill tied the game up early in the fourth.
Mahomet-Seymour’s offense finally found an answer after having not scored since the first possession of the second half. A long pass from Thomas to Ryan Emmerd set up a first and goal where the Bulldogs’ Leever ran it in from three yards out to regain the lead, 26-20.
Effingham was forced to punt with a little over eight minute to play in the game and trailing by just six.
Mahomet-Seymour’s offense kept the ball for over six minutes on their next possession where they ran it in from a yard out by Zach Daebelliehn to put the dagger in the Effingham comeback.
33-20 was the final from Klosterman field where the Hearts played their final game of the 2016 season.
With the loss, Effingham ends their season at 3-6 and 2-3 in the Apollo, which was good for fourth place in the Conference. Effingham will not be in the playoffs.
With the win, Mahomet-Seymour improves to 6-3 and locks in a playoff spot. The Bulldogs finished 5-1 in the Corn Belt for second place. Mahomet-Seymour will be in the playoffs and will move to the Apollo Conference next season.