It's not the traditional football season, but that didn't intimidate the Homewood-Flossmoor Vikings as they took the field for the first time in a year, coming away with a 41-14 victory over visiting Lockport on Friday, March 19.
The 2020-2021 fall football season was moved to March due to COVID-19 restrictions put in place by the Illinois High School Association.
The Vikings played an amazing game, not giving up a single point to the Lockport Porters until the second half. Within minutes of the first quarter, the Vikings scored a touchdown. By the half, the score was 21-0.
In the second half, Lockport seemed to have renewed spirits and managed to score two touchdowns, but H-F responded with three more touchdowns, only missing one extra point.
The Vikings domination of the field continued when junior running back Jaedyn Price converted an intercepted Lockport pass to a touchdown in the third quarter. That was followed by a breathtaking 63-yard run by junior wide receiver Myles Walton in the fourth quarter for another touchdown.
The game attracted a decent crowd, although it was intentionally limited because of IHSA's COVID restrictions. Season pass holders were permitted and sat on the leftmost side of the stands, while H-F seniors who reserved tickets in advance sat in the middle.
Friends and family generally sat in tight clusters while remaining safely distant from other groups. Attendees were required to wear masks throughout the whole game by H-F staff.
The H-F marching band stood socially distanced on the rightmost bleachers entertaining with various themed music throughout the first half to rev up the home crowd.
The cheer team stood right below the stands and went through their routines, occasionally in-sync with the marching band.
At halftime, the marching band and cheer team came onto the field and gave a great show, making sure to keep socially distanced through it.
"I'm just glad these guys got to play. I'm glad these guys were able to participate in the game of football," Coach Craig Buzea said after the game. "I'm really happy for them, and they played pretty well. . . You just never know what to expect from a very good team, and we're just hoping to get a few more [games]."
This season will be Coach Buzea's final year with H-F.
Photos by Andrew Burke-Stevenson/H-F Chronicle.
Correction: An earlier version of this story incorrectly spelled Myles Walton's name. The Chronicle apologies for the error.