Hersey junior Matt Korff said it was a "crazy good" win.
Senior teammate Justin Jobski called it a "great game -- huge -- we knew what we had to do, and we just knocked off the 23rd ranked team in the state."
However you wanted to describe it, the orange-clad Huskies student fans obviously agreed with their heroes, celebrating with the team after Hersey went on the road and defeated Glenbrook North 21-14.
The Huskies built a 14-0 halftime lead, watched the Sparatans tie it up, then scored a late touchdown on a 25-yard catch by Jobski for the win.
"We've been working so hard over the summer, sometimes 8 hours a day, to get ready for today," said Korff. "This was so emotional. We started out with 74 kids and now we're down to 50 - but we're 50 strong."
"I thought we showed a lot of intensity," agreed Hersey coach Dragan Teonic. "In my two years here this is the best I've seen our team come out and get after it right from the start. I'm proud of the way they handled themselves tonight."
Hersey scored in the first half on a 50-yard run by Stephen Kuc and 9-yard play-action pass from quarterback Brad Zaucha to Andrew Collins, and the Huskies defense allowed Glenbrook North only 1 first-half first down.
But the Spartans, who sacked Zaucha 8 times, got the momentum back as Grant Rushing scored on a 54-yard run off a fake punt, then tied the game in the fourth when Rushing grabbed a 22-yard scoring strike from Curt Petty.
That set the stage for a late Hersey drive that culminated in a game-winning 25-yard pass from Zaucha to Jobski on a broken play.
"It was supposed to be a slant and go," said Jobski, "but then I saw my quarterback rolling out to the right and I rolled that way too, like I've been taught. I got open in the back of the end zone and put my hand up and he found me."
Glenbrook North had one last shot to tie things up but a late sack by Hersey junior Eddie Beyer sealed the win.
Zaucha threw for 221 yards in the visitors triumph.
"We made a ton of mistakes tonight," said Teonic, "but the kids showed they could come back from adversity. I've got to tip my cap to Glenbrook North -- they're a good football team, but I think we're a pretty good team too."