FLOSSMOOR | Little changed Friday night from the first time Homewood-Flossmoor played, and played with, Sandburg this season.
Different venue? Check.
Different uniforms? Check.
Same whipping of the Eagles by the Vikings? Check and double-check.
With his offensive line leading the way, senior Vashon Nutt ran for four touchdowns and 228 yards on a dozen carries in second-seeded Homewood-Flossmoor's 49-14 rout of 15th-seeded Sandburg in the opening round of the Class 8A playoffs before about 1,500 fans on Friday night.
The outcome advances H-F (9-1) to a round of 16 game against Naperville Central (7-4), a 36-0 winner over Downers Grove South.
H-F beat Sandburg (5-5) in a SouthWest Suburban Blue encounter 48-10 last time. This was more of the same.
The only difference was H-F's sticking to the ground game in the light rain — and why not, with Nutt bolting 54 yards for a touchdown on the game's second play from scrimmage. He crashed through the right side and was untouched from there.
"Sandburg's defense plays hard and fast," Nutt said. "We just tried to make sure we executed our blocks. That offensive line is amazing. We've got six linemen who rotate in and they're really good. I buy 'em lunch."
If this keeps up, steak and lobster will be in order. Nutt would add touchdowns of 22, 15 and 1 yards before the first half was done, his second four-touchdown game in as many weeks.
His second touchdown of the game snapped a 7-all tie. His 1-yard plunge was his, and H-F's, fourth score of the night on its fifth possession, and came with 41.3 second left in the half. The score was 28-14, but the margin seemed more like a light-year than two touchdowns.
Credit that to H-F's use of the single wing, which goes back to the dawn of football. What was good for Walter Camp is good for Vikings coach Craig Buzea.
"I thought we needed something to compete with the bigger kids like (Lincoln-Way) East and Bolingbrook," Buzea said. "It's not a full-time deal, but if it's working we'll stay with it. If you have the speed we do and the misdirection — we haven't hit everything, but we've stayed with it."
It's worked against everyone H-F's used it against, even Bolingbrook for a time. Next week, it will be Naperville Central's time to figure it out.
Sandburg mustered only 121 yards of offense, 78 coming on its second scoring drive. That, capped by Jim Robley's 12-yard run, cut the gap to 21-14, but only briefly.