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Mooseheart's Johnathon Hart (11) passes the ball against Warren at Mooseheart in North Aurora, IL on Saturday, October 27, 2012 | Sean King~For Sun-Times Media.
The air raid sirens should have been going off in North Aurora with all the footballs being tossed around at Mooseheart Stadium Saturday.
Unable to get much going on the ground, the Red Ramblers turned to quarterback Jonathon Hart. The 6-4 senior threw for 302 yards on 26-of-37 passing and four touchdowns to lead Mooseheart to a 34-24 win over Warren in the Class 1A playoffs.
Sahr Mahoney was on the receiving end of all four touchdown strikes. He also ran in a fifth touchdown. JJ Odunsi had a team high 13 receptions for 151 yards. The Ramblers advance to play Stark County in round two next week.
“It’s a great feeling to be able to get this win in front of the home crowd,” said Mooseheart coach Gary Urwiler. “We were going to do whatever it took to win. Running the ball was tough so we started throwing. They weren’t playing any safeties over the top so we were able to find the seams and get a lot of one-on-one matchups. Jonathon did a good job of getting the ball to the open receiver.”
Mooseheart rallied from behind three times in the game, including a 24-20 deficit in the third quarter. Hart answered right back with a quick 35-yard strike to Mahoney to put Mooseheart on top for good 28-24 with 4:09 left in the quarter.
The Red Ramblers picked off Warren quarterback Gavin Leverton three times in the second half with Odunsi, Chris Villarruel and Peter Mator notching interceptions. Odunsi’s pick gave Mooseheart the ball at the Warren 40-yard line late in the third quarter. Four plays later Hart added insurance with a 10-yard touchdown pass to Mahoney.
Mooseheart (10-1) suffered a setback with just over a minute to play in the first half when Hart threw an interception at the goal and it was returned 100 yards for a Warren touchdown, putting the Warriors up 18-14. Hart bounced back to lead the Red Ramblers 65 yards on five plays and a five-yard touchdown pass with eight seconds left in the half to put Mooseheart up 20-18.
“It was a crazy back and forth game,” said Hart. “That play at the end of the half could have been devastating, but we all pulled together. They were blitzing a lot and that left our receivers with a lot of one-on-one matchups. It was my job just to get them the ball before the blitz got us. It was a fun challenge.”