SYCAMORE - It's no secret that Mohawk relies on Caleb Coil for a number of things.
"We kidded around with him at the beginning of two-a-days that he was Jim Thorpe, and he had no idea who Jim Thorpe is," said Warriors' coach Erik Baker after his team's 25-14 win over Fremont St. Joe. "I'm kind of like, 'Go Wikipedia him. He's kind of a big deal in his time."
On Friday night, it was Coil who was a big deal.
The senior ran for 105 yards and two touchdowns, including a 59-yard jaunt around the right side in the third quarter. He had a fourth-quarter punt that pinned the Streaks at the 1-yard line. And he completed a 30-yard pass on a halfback option that set up the game-winning score. By beating previously undefeated St. Joe, Mohawk clinched at least a share of the Midland Athletic League title.
"I'm extremely excited," Coil said. "My team ... I wouldn't play with anybody else. We've got Carey next week, and it's gonna be a big one. We can't let down."
The Warriors (8-1, 6-0 MAL) had to rally from a 14-6 halftime deficit. They climbed to within 14-12 early in the third quarter when quarterback Kyle Parker sneaked in from 1 yard out after Coil's 59-yard run.
Neither team was able to score in their next few possessions, but Mohawk made some key plays to maintain the momentum.
St. Joe had the ball at midfield when quarterback Matt Mehalko looked to complete a second-down pass. He had receiver Ben Zyski open on the left sideline but underthrew him, allowing Mohawk's Levi Edgington to make a leaping interception. Edgington maintained his balance and took off down the sideline for a 36-yard return. He finally was tackled at the St. Joe 39.
But Mohawk couldn't gain a first down, and on fourth-and-9 from the 38, Baker opted to punt.
"I just booted it as hard as it could," said Coil, the squad's punter.
The ball went out of bounds at the 1-yard line. Three plays later, St. Joe was forced to punt, and Mohawk started the ensuing possession on the St. Joe 32.
After Coil was stopped for no gain, Kyle Parker pitched the ball to Coil, who went right, then heaved the ball for Craig Parker, who had two Streaks on him. Craig Parker snagged the ball and fell to the ground at the 12.
"Thank God Craig caught that; that was an awesome catch," Coil said.
Facing a third-and-5 at the 6, a passing play was called.
"They were overpursuing to the left, where our pass was supposed to be, and I saw a fairly big window to the right, so I just took off for it," Kyle Parker said.
Parker was able to reach the end zone, and Mohawk took an 18-14 edge with 4:13 remaining.
St. Joe (8-1, 5-1) got the ball back, but Mehalko was sacked by Devin Cartwright on the drive's first play. On the second, Mehalko completed a pass to Brant Reardon, but Reardon fumbled and Mohawk got the ball back at the St. Joe 17.
Baker said Mohawk's defense responded after a shaky first half.
"We said, 'You know what, if we go out, let's go out playing our way,'" Baker said. "Second half, we did that."
Mohawk made one more stop, with Shellhouse intercepting Mehalko and returning the ball to the St. Joe 3 to set up another Coil TD.
For St. Joe, Zak Bowman ran for 124 yards, while Mehalko ran for one TD and threw for another.
"It was a good football game," said St. Joe coach Scott Knisely. "We ran out of time. Mohawk played very well tonight."