With the game on the line, a fourth down and goal situation in overtime failed for Monticello and allowed Tolono Unity to escape with a 33-27 win in overtime at Monticello High School in the regular season finale and the Rockets claimed the 2021 Illini Prairie Conference championship.
Unity tied the game at 27 with 2:02 left after Joey Sprinkle threw a late interception. The Sages would get the ball in Unity territory before turning the ball over on downs.
In overtime, Monticello had Unity in a fourth-and-goal to go situation and fade pass to the left corner of the end zone was caught to give the Rockets the lead at 33-27, the first since they led 7-0. The extra point was no good setting up a chance for Monticello to win it on its first possession of overtime.
The Sages were set back right off the bat with a five-yard false start. They got seven yards back on a quick pass to Triston Foran. On second down, a double-reverse went for four yards when back-up quarterback Luke Teschke hit Joey Sprinkle, getting the Sages just inside the five.
On third down, a shovel pass for Jacob Tackett only gained three yards, setting up fourth down and short.
On fourth down, Sprinkle was just able to get a pass off as he was going down avoiding a sack, his pass for the end zone fell incomplete but pass interference in the end zone set the Sages up for a fourth down from the two yard line.
On fourth down, a reverse to junior quarterback Drew Sheppard failed as he was sacked to end the game.
Monticello also pulled off another successful hook-and-lateral pass that sprung Tackett for a 52-yard touchdown late in the first half and set Monticello up for a 14-7 lead going in the the half.
Sprinkle scored his longest touchdown of the season, a 69-yard run in the third quarter.
Foran hauled in two more touchdown passes and finished with 84 receiving yards on seven catches. Tackett did most of his damage in the receiving game with 70 yards on seven receptions with his touchdown.
Spencer Mitze finished with seven catches for 68 yards in another strong performance for the junior.
Tylor Bundy was the Piatt/DeWitt ServPro player of the game with a pair of interceptions and a trio of kick returns that set Monticello up with good field position.
The Sages finish the regular season 7-2, dropping two of its final three.
Unity wraps up the regular season undefeated at 9-0.
Both teams will await its playoff seeding on Saturday.