Phillips elim­i­nates Prairie Ridge in 6A

Chicago Tribune (Sunday) - - SCOREBOARD - By Mike Clark mclark@tribpub.com Twit­ter @mikeclarkpreps

Fourth down just out­side mid­field, less than two min­utes left, Phillips down by three.

Was Jahleel Billingsley wor­ried Satur­day af­ter­noon? Nope.

The Alabama-bound se­nior flipped the ball to An­thony An­der­son, who raced 51 yards down the right side­line for the de­ci­sive touch­down with 1 minute, 47 sec­onds re­main­ing. Just like that, Phillips had an­other dra­matic win, 24-19 over Prairie Ridge in a bat­tle of 2017 state cham­pi­ons at Gately Sta­dium.

The Wild­cats (9-2), who are try­ing to win their third state ti­tle in three classes over a four-year span, go to Cary-Grove (11-0) next week­end for a Class 6A quar­ter­fi­nal. Prairie Ridge, the two-time de­fend­ing 6A win­ner, fin­ished 8-3.

Billingsley again jump-started the Phillips of­fense by mov­ing to the Wild­cat for­ma­tion, this time at the start of the sec­ond quar­ter. And the 6-foot-5, 225-pounder showed off yet an­other di­men­sion by throw­ing a 20-yard touch­down pass to Illi­nois re­cruit Fabian McCray.

For all that, Phillips still trailed 19-16 when it faced fourth-and-2 from its 49. Billingsley wasn’t ner­vous.

“I felt like ei­ther way we would have got the first down, if I had kept the ball or given it to (An­der­son),” Billingsley said. “I was just glad he was able to break it ... and put us up.”

An­der­son, a 5-10, 175-pound ju­nior, ran 16 times for 137 yards. He also went 21 yards around left end for a touch­down that put Phillips ahead 16-9 with 1:39 left in the third quar­ter.

Billingsley added 81 yards on 13 car­ries, pick­ing up a Wild­cats of­fense that man­aged just 11 yards in the first quar­ter.

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