Wauconda and host Orr Academy reunited a nonconference football rivalry Saturday that started in the late 1980s.
"(Former) Wauconda coach Glen Kozlowski invited us to come up to play them," Orr Academy coach Kevin Jackson said. "Then the two teams played each other about 10 times with us going up there and they coming down here, and then the rivalry fell apart. (Wauconda) coach Dave Mills invited us to play this season and hopefully we will play them a lot more."
Wauconda quarterback Austin Swenson helped make sure that the long trip to Chicago's Northwest side was worth it, as he completed 13 of 18 passes for 169 yards to lead the Bulldogs to a 28-22 win on an overcast day at Rauer Field.
"We started out slow in the first half," Swenson said. "We made some adjustments up front and eventually we got the passing game going."
Running back David Starkey ran for 131 yards on 41 carries and scored the Bulldogs' first touchdown on a 58-yard run up the middle.
"We let the long bus ride and the weather get in our heads," Starkey said. "Coach Mills told us at halftime that we were going too slow. Linebacker Carlos Quinones is our pump-up guy, and he helped get us going for the second half.
"Orr has some big guys out there and they hit hard," Starkey added. "Their linebacker (Tyshawn Curry, 6-4, 275) is probably the biggest kid we'll face all year."
Orr's Deangelo Foster (5 carries, 81 yards) scored the Spartans' first touchdown on a 41-yard run. But the 2-point conversion failed, keeping Wauconda in the lead at 7-6.
The two teams exchanged touchdowns and finished the half tied 14-14.
Wauconda broke the game open with 14 unanswered points in the third quarter.
"We scored on the first offensive drive and we thought it was going to be an easy win after that," Mills said. "You have to give Orr some credit in that they didn't make it that easy. They used their size and anything else they could throw at us to their advantage. It got tough out there for us."
Orr quarterback Jamal McDowell ran for 63 yards and passed for 53 yards.
"I just think that we let fatigue get to us," Jackson said. "Wauconda has a well-disciplined and fundamentally coached team. I thought that we lost to a very good team today."