As the Quincy Notre Dame football team broke the huddle for a second-down play, Brady Genenbacher had a suggestion for Jordan Chapel.
They should switch routes.
"He's a lot faster than me," said Genenbacher, who was supposed to line up on the outside and run a streak pattern down the left sideline with Chapel lining up inside and running over the middle. "I figured he'd be able to get it done."
It may have been the best call of the day.
Chapel moved to the outside, made a juggling catch of Joe McCaughey's pass, broke away from the jersey tackle of a defender and turned it into a 60-yard touchdown with 40 seconds left in the first half that changed the momentum of the Raiders' 33-14 victory over Coal City in Saturday's Class 4A first-round playoff matchup.
"That might have been the play of the game," said Notre Dame coach Bill Connell, whose team took a 12-7 lead with the touchdown. "That released us of all of our tensions. It sent us in with the halftime lead. As poor as we played, we had the halftime lead. From that play on, you couldn't play better football if you wanted to."
The challenge will be to sustain it next week against another Interstate Eight Conference Large Division foe.
QND (9-1) will play host to Peotone (8-2) in a second-round matchup at 3 p.m. Saturday at the QND field. The Blue Devils knocked off Pontiac 49-0 in their playoff opener and beat Coal City 33-26 at home in Week 7 of the regular season.
"You look at the big plays — long runs, big pass plays, this play and that play — that's what hurt us," Coal City coach Lenny Onsen said. "It wasn't like they sustained it and just drove it down our throats all night long. It just didn't happen for us defensively on the big plays. That's been a problem all year."
The Raiders limited what Brennan Shetina, the Coalers quarterback, could do, holding the team's leading rusher to 28 yards on 11 carries. D.J. Budde had 61 yards on 15 carries as Coal City averaged less than 4 yards per carry.