In a battle of elite defensive minded football teams, the Hillcrest Hawks had the final say on Saturday against the Cahokia Comanches.
Junior running back Mar’Kiese Irving scored three touchdowns and the Hillcrest defense held Cahokia in check in a 27-0 win in a Class 5A quarterfinal playoff round game played in suburban Country Club Hills.
Top-seeded in its half of the Class 5A bracket, the Hawks took a 7-0 lead on their first possession when Montez Garrett scored on a 1-yard run. That score would be all the Hawks would need as their defensive unit posted its seventh shutout of the season.
Irving scored on runs of 59, 20 and four yards to close out the scoring for Hillcrest.
Hillcrest (12-0), which has outscored its opponents 510-63, will host Joliet Catholic (8-4) in a semifinal round game next Saturday. The Hilltoppers stunned previously undefeated Highland 55-21 in their quarterfinal round game.
Cahokia, the South Seven Conference champion which was making its first quarterfinal round appearance since 2008, ends its season at 10-2.