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Grant's Jonathan Wells makes a great run down field against North Chicago. | Mark Ukena~For Sun-Times Media
Visiting Grant took full advantage of North Chicago miscues to hand the Warhawks their first loss of the season, 34-14, on Friday in a key North Suburban Prairie contest.
The Bulldogs (5-1, 3-0) can clinch the division title and a playoff berth by beating Lakes at home next week.
North Chicago (5-1) can qualify for the playoffs by winning at Vernon Hills next Friday.
North Chicago led 7-0 early as Denzal Clark caught a 14-yard touchdown pass from JaVairius Amos-Mays.
But Grant’s Jake Lostroscia — the player of the game — picked up a North Chicago fumble and ran 31 yards to the house minutes later to tie the game at 7-7 and completely change the complexion of the contest.
Later in the period, Jonathan Wells (20 carries, 137 yards) scored on a 30-yard run to make it 14-7 Grant at the half.
Grant then caught North Chicago napping and recovered an onside kick to start the second half. The ensuing drive ended with Wells’ second touchdown run — a one-yarder — to make it 22-7.
North Chicago got on the board just before the third quarter ended, driving 97 yards. Jamero Shelton scored, catching a nine-yard scoring pass from Amos-Mays (14-of-28, 222 yards, two touchdowns, interception).
But Grant then regained control at 28-14 early in the fourth quarter as quarterback Kyle Whitman scored on an 18-yard run.
The Bulldogs then capped the scoring when Billy Sullivan ran 59 yards on a fake punt with 1:27 left in the game.
“We started out a little bit slow tonight, but we were able to pick it up,” Wells said. “The scoop and score (by Lostroscia) was a huge boost.”
Grant coach Kurt Rous liked the way his team persevered despite committing 14 penalties.
“Our line opened holes tonight. They did a great job,” said Rous. “I’m proud of the effort. We did a relentless job pass-rushing tonight.
“Lakes is going to be a showdown next week.”