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Top 10 local football games of 2013 season

Erica Sycamore's Ben Niemann makes his way out of the grips of Montini's Michael Maduko during their state semifinal game Saturday November 23 2013.
Erica Sycamore's Ben Niemann makes his way out of the grips of Montini's Michael Maduko during their state semifinal game Saturday November 23 2013.

In a season that featured four local playoff teams, there were many incredible moments and exciting games over the nine-game regular season and into the postseason.

Here are our top 10 most memorable games from the 2013 season.

10. Hiawatha 40, Westminster Christian 27 in Week 4

The highpoint of the Hawks’ season came after a Week 4 win on the road at Westminster Christian. Hiawatha moved to 3-1 on the season despite battling injuries to many of its key contributors.

9. Hampshire 35, DeKalb 34 in Week 2

Special teams were the difference in a tough loss for DeKalb early in the season. Rudy Lopez recovered a fumble in the end zone for a late touchdown, but the Barbs couldn’t recover the onside kick.

8. Montini 42, Sycamore 20 in semifinals of Class 5A playoffs

The long-awaited rematch between the two playoff rivals finally materialized in the semifinals. Montini got on top quick, but Sycamore closed to within a touchdown on two occasions before the Broncos pulled away to beat the Spartans for the fifth consecutive time.

7. Sycamore 48, DeKalb 26 in Week 3

The first quarter is still a blur to anyone who attended the annual rivalry game at Huskie Stadium. The two teams combined for seven touchdowns in the first quarter as each squad matched big play with big play.

Sycamore would extend the lead in the second half, but DeKalb proved they were going to be a better team in 2013.

6. Sycamore 33, Nazareth 28 in second round of Class 5A playoffs

Game-changing plays went the Spartans’ way in the second round. Nazareth took a lead entering the fourth quarter, but touchdowns from Riley Hurley and Ben Niemann put Sycamore back on top.

Nazareth scored and then forced a Sycamore punt, but Niemann and Michael Stinnett broke up a Nazareth pass on fourth down to secure the win.

5. DeKalb 46, Rochelle 41 in Week 9

With their playoff hopes hanging in the balance, DeKalb delivered a big win on its home field. Offensive fireworks started early as the two teams scored a combined 61 points before halftime.

But the running duo of Jack Sauter and Dre Brown was too much in the second half and Tanner Pumfrey’s interception in the final minute sealed the win for DeKalb.

4. Harvard 22, Genoa-Kingston 21 in Week 8

A gamble that worked earlier in the season failed with the Big Northern East Championship on the line. A 16-play drive capped by a Sal Lopez touchdown late in the fourth quarter put the Cogs down by one. The Cogs went for two but the pass was broken up.

Genoa-Kingston recovered the ensuing onside kick, but couldn’t score on its final possession.

3. Genoa-Kingston 29, Richmond-Burton 28 in Week 3

Genoa-Kingston didn’t lead until the fourth quarter when it took a 21-14 lead, but Richmond-Burton scored with less than two minutes remaining to force overtime.

The Rockets scored first, but G-K answered with a touchdown and Sal Lopez ran in for the winning two-point conversion to give G-K its first win of the season.

2. Sycamore 21, Lincoln-West 14 in quarterfinals of Class 5A playoffs

The Warriors jumped out to a quick lead, but Sycamore’s defense locked down Lincoln-Way West after halftime.

Through a downpour and a field that turned into a mudpit, Devin Mottet ran for more than 100 yards and Ben Niemann came down with the game-winning touchdown grab in the final minutes.

1. Sycamore 31, Kaneland 21 in Week 8

The most anticipated matchup of the regular season delivered in a big way as more than 4,000 people packed Engh Community Field to watch undefeated Sycamore and Kaneland play for the Northern Illinois Big 12 East title.

Kaneland took an early lead, but Sycamore backup QB Nick Feuerbach rallied the Spartans in the second half and the Spartans got a couple key stops to end Kaneland’s reign atop the conference.

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