Lakota East gave up a pair of late touchdowns but held off Sycamore, 28-21 at Bud Acus Alumni Field on Friday.
Lakota East (5-4, 3-3) pounded the ball downfield via the run in an opening drive that ate up half of the first quarter while culminating in a 7-0 lead.
The Aviators, who fell for a third straight outing, put up a gallant fight but the loss of quarterback Greg Simpson due to injury and three turnovers were enough to do in the home team.
Lakota East would use the run to set up the pass to take the lead for good in the second quarter when quarterback Erick Eichler connected for a 64-yard touchdown to make it 14-7.
Eichler used his legs to amass a team 125 yards and a score on the ground. Bobby Brown also broke the century mark for a second straight week with 109 yards rushing.
Bruising fullback David Chenault finished off his teammates efforts’ with a pair of short touchdown runs, giving him 12 TDs on the season.
The Thunderhawks finished the night with 256 yards on 45 carries.
Despite the injuries, Sycamore did not go quietly. Running back Solomon McMullin helped keep the Aviators close, as most of his 134 yards rushing and one touchdown came before intermission.
Down 28-7 in the third quarter, backup quarterback Jake Borman found Ryan Wahler for the first of their second half scoring strikes, but the deficit would be too much to overcome in the end.
Slim playoff chances are still on the table for Lakota East but all of that is a mute point if the team doesn’t beat rival Lakota West (8-1, 6-0) on Nov. 2.
Sycamore will not make the playoffs for a school record third straight season. The Aviators finish out 2013 on the road at Mason (3-6, 2-4).