Block High came within two yards to winning its second straight game, but the Bears fell to Northwood of Lena 32-26 Thursday in Lena.

“It was a great football game,” said Block head coach Benny Vault. 

Good enough for Vault to change his mind about opting out of the playoffs.

Block finished 1-9, having to forfeit games to Lakeside and Grant because of COVID-19.

“I told the guys if we didn’t win this game we would opt out of the playoffs,” Vault said. “But after coming so close, and realizing it would be a good experience for our young team, we decided to play.”

Block, the No. 21 seed, takes on No. 12 West St. John. The game will be played at St. Charles Catholic School in LaPlace because West St. John is still shut down from Hurricane Ida.

Block has played West St. John several times in the past in the playoffs.

“They are not the same West St. John, but we’re not the same Block,” Vault said.

Against Northwood, Vault was without top player Zavion Green, with a hip injury, and Jaden Jones with an ankle injury.

“We couldn’t do a lot of things we usually do,” Vault said.

Block quarterback Demarion Carter broke off a long run near the end of the game, but was caught at the Northwood 2-yard line. A field goal to win the game was blocked.

“Demarion told me he ran out of gas,” Vault said. “I told him I would have re-fueled him.”

Block lost about 30 yards on its first possession of overtime, while Northwood scored a touchdown to end the game.

The winner of the Block-West St. John contest will face No. 5 Slaughter in the second round.

  

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