For nearly three full quarters Niles West was stymied by host Maine West on Friday night in their Central Suburban League football match-up.
The Wolves were eventually able to overcome their offensive struggles, and the 6-0 deficit they faced at the start of the fourth quarter, to defeat the Warriors 14-6.
The momentum turned for the Wolves late in the third quarter when Jeremiah Jordan broke a 64-yard punt return to set Niles West up at Maine West's 24. The Wolves capitalized on the short field with a 2-yard touchdown run by sophomore running back Nick Johnson (12 carries for 60 yards).
"We've been waiting for Jeremiah to make plays," Niles West coach Scott Baum said. "He's a different kid. He's an athlete."
With 4:31 left in the game, and holding a 7-6 lead, the Wolves faced a fourth-and-9 from Maine West's 34-yard line. Again, Baum looked to Jordan to make a play. This time it came on the receiving end of a halfback pass from junior Jake Glotzer.
The result was a 33-yard reception that set up junior quarterback Mike McGivern's 1-yard touchdown plunge.
"I thought it was something we needed," Baum said. "We didn't need to go and hold them for the victory. I think we needed that offensively. We needed points there, and they were selling out."
When Glotzer (16 carries for 102 yards) pulled up to throw there was no Warrior defender within 10 yards of Jordan.
"I think it was a good call by coach," Jordan said. "Jake is a good running back so they thought he was going to run the ball. It was a great pass."
Maine West (0-3) capitalized on a fumbled Niles West (2-1) punt attempt in the first quarter with a 13-yard touchdown run by quarterback Jake Korbecki, who had 27 carries for 64 yards and was 5-of-8 passing for 39 yards, but was unable to take advantage of other early chances.
"We had the ball in great field position a few times and we didn't come away with points," Maine West coach Chris Hare said. "We got down there and we hurt ourselves. That's what we've been trying to fight. We need to finish off drives and we are not doing that yet."