Dominant Hononegah Indians move on to Level 3 in the 2023 7A IHSA football playoffs


Photo: Andrea Van Briesen Photography, Rockton IL

On Saturday, November 4, 2023 at 2 p.m., the Hononegah Indians kicked off with the Villa Park (Willowbrook) Warriors in a Level 2 game in the 2023 7A IHSA Football Playoffs from Kelsey Field. By 2:30 p.m. this game was out of reach for Willowbrook.

Hononegah came out and showcased the complete team that they were during the undefeated NIC-10 conference regular season. They scored just over midway through the first quarter when Cole Warren connected with Isaiah Houi for a 46-yard touchdown. Kurt Smith added the PAT (point after touchdown) and the Indians led 7-0. Less than 5 minutes later, Hononegah got a 31-yard TD on the ground from junior Caven Colwell. After another PAT from Kurt Smith, it made the score 14-0. Hononegah then added a 49-yard punt return from Northern IA verbal commit Isaiah Houi. Kurt Smith again made the PAT and Hononegah found themselves ahead 21-0.

Junior Kurt Smith made a 36-yard field just before the 2-minute mark of the 2nd quarter and Hononegah went into halftime leading Villa Park (Willowbrook) 24-0.

If you were at the game or listening /watching it online, it felt like a much larger lead. All day long, the Hononegah defense allowed very little to the Warriors. It almost seemed as though they were listening in the huddle of the Villa Park (Willowbrook) offense.

Hononegah High Football - Andrea Van Briesen Photography Rockton IL

In fact, in the game, the Indians defense allowed just 146 total yards and forced Villa Park (Willowbrook) senior quarterback Arthur Palicki to go 8-38 for just 88 yards with an interception through the air. It was a dominant performance at all three levels of the defense. The line closed every single hole and allowed the linebackers to run to the football, where the linebackers brought the hammer when the Warriors got through the front line. When Villa Park (Willowbrook) decided to throw the ball, they found a no-fly zone that looked more like an Iron Dome than an attempt to pass the football.

The 2nd half was a forgone conclusion as junior Brayden Lane decided to join in on the TD celebration, returning the 2nd half opening kickoff 88 yards and having the sideline and bleachers jump around like it was Christmas morning and you had just gotten the hottest Christmas present.

Another running and passing touchdown from senior QB Cole Warren finished up the scoring for the game as it became a running clock late in the 3rd and all of the 4th quarter.

With the win, Hononegah now gets to play host to Batavia in a quarterfinal matchup in the 7A IHSA Football playoffs. The game is set for Saturday, November 11, 2023 at 1 pm.

How to Watch the Game:

Thank you to @honofootball and Andrea Van Briesen Photography for use of the images.

A self-described sports evangelist, Harold Bone is the Roscoe News sports editor who is committed to finding stories behind-the-box scores and discovering engaging sports content. Harold has a background in many forms of media - everything from radio to TV. He has spent the last 25-plus years attending, following, and cheering for teams and athletes from the pros and colleges to local high schools and youth recreational leagues. Harold is passionate about creating engaging stories for athletes and sports fans in the Rockton/Roscoe/South Beloit, Illinois communities. Contact Harold via email at and follow him on Twitter at @SPRTSEDRRNews. Sign up for the Daily Rockton-Roscoe News newsletter HERE

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