Normal West junior Justin Fisher-Montgomery scored the first of four touchdowns for the Wildcats in their 41-28 loss to Urbana. (You Name It Sports/Sandy Adams)
URBANA - Normal West's 18-game winning streak is history on a night when Cameron Mammen made history.
Urbana's senior quarterback broke the Champaign-Urbana prep football career record for total offense (previously held by Mikel Leshoure of Champaign Centennial, University of Illinois and Detroit Lions), amassing 341 yards on the ground and through the air, to lead the Tigers to a 41-28 win at McKinley Field.
It was Mammen's explosivenes on the defensive end that likely provided the decisive blow against the No. 6 Wildcats, who has last lost a regular season game on Sept. 24, 2010 against Danville.
Moments after Mammen broke a 21-21 tie by hitting Andrew Bivens deep downfield for an 81-yard strike in the opening mimute of the fourth quarter, Mammen intercepted a Greg Hiltbrand pass and weaved 80 yards for a touchdown that nearly put the game out of reach. Hiltbrand's next pass officially put the game out of reach. It was picked off by Tanner Russell and returned 63 yards for a score.
Hiltbrand threw four touchdown passes and led the Wildcats back from a 21-0 deficit in his first start at quarterback. The junior was subbing for Alex Jefferson, one of the area's top players, who suffered a fracture in his right leg in last week's win over Normal Community.
"We didn't really come out of the gate fighting the way I needed (them) to. They came out kind of flat, especially for a game like this. They are a great football team and so we didn't match their intensity, especially in the first half."
Hiltbrand found his rhythm late in the first half, completing 6 of 7 passes on a drive that ended in a 5-yard touchdown pass to Justin Fisher-Montgomery.
That success carried over into the third quarter when he connected on two more scores, but as the Tigers retook the lead, pass openings were closing quicker and some high-risk passes backfired.
"We are going to win with dignity, we are going to lose with dignity. We are going to get better," Hess said.
Normal West committed five turnovers, all in the second half.
The win moves Urbana (5-1, 4-1 in the Big 12) into a second-place tie with Bloomington (4-2, 4-1) behind the Wildcats (5-1, 5-1).
West is on the road next Friday night at Bloomington. Urbana visits Decatur Eisenhower.
U- Safety Greg Hiltbrand fumble recovery
U- Cameron Mammen 1-yd. run (Sam Weatherhead kick)
U- Mammen 38-yd. pass to Andrew Bevins (kick blocked)
U- Mammen 20-yd. pass to Tanner Russell (run failed)
NW- Hiltbrand 5-yd. pass to Justin Fisher Montgomery (Zack Breen kick)
NW- Hiltbrand 85-yd. pass to Matt Hunsaker (Breen kick)
NW- Hiltbrand 13-yd. pass to Seth Emmert (Breen kick)
U- Mammen 81-yd. pass to Bivens (run failed)
U- Mammen 80-yd. interception return (pass failed)
U- Russell 63-yd. interception return (Kenny Patton run)
NW- Hiltbrand 25-yd. pass to Terrance Fisher (Breen kick)
NORMAL WEST INDIVIDUAL LEADERS
Rushing:Dominique Stevenson 14-76
Passing:Greg Hiltbrand 17-39-4-265
Receiving:Terrance Fisher 4-51; Justin Fisher-Montgomery 5-31; Jacob Evans 4-35
Interceptions:Edward Brown; Seth Wiseman
URBANA INDIVIDUAL LEADERS
Rushing:Kenny Patton 20-61; Cameron Mammon 16-108
Passing:Cameron Mammon 11-18-2-233
Receiving: Tanner Russel 4-59; 3-127
Interceptions: Camerson Mammon 2; Tanner Russel; Josh Pratt
Eric Stock can be reached at email@example.com.