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Article updated: 9/8/2012 2:01 AM
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Adams, Willowbrook intercept big win

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Adams, Willowbrook intercept big win

Hayden Adams hopped on crutches to join in serenading the Willowbrook fan section.

His Warriors teammates wouldn't think of leaving him behind.

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Adams caught 2 touchdown passes from Brian Johnson and intercepted 3 York passes -- the second pick setting up a go-ahead touchdown -- and Willowbrook won a wild one 28-23 on Friday night in Elmhurst.

Adams rolled an ankle on his third interception and didn't return, but Warriors coach Nick Hildreth hopes to have his two-way star junior back by next week.

"It stinks that I got hurt," Adams said, "but it feels great to get this win -- especially on their Homecoming."

It does hurt so good these days in Villa Park. The Warriors, winless a year ago, are 2-1 under second-year coach Hildreth -- their best through three games since starting 3-0 and making their last playoff appearance in 2007. Willowbrook beat York for the first time since 2003. Like a 42-41 season-opening win over Glenbard East, it wasn't without its anxious moments.

"We will take them without a doubt, but it's a process," Hildreth said. "We're learning how to win. These kids, they never buckled. They found a way."

In a wide-open, pass-happy game with a combined 993 yards of total offense, Willowbrook surged ahead in a see-saw third quarter.

Johnson, 15 of 29 for 335 yards, hit Adams for a 44-yard catch-and-run crossing route and 13-7 lead with 9:30 left in the third quarter. York answered with a 6-yard Jordan Peacock touchdown run set up by a 59-yard Peacock scamper for a 14-13 lead, before Adams came through with the game's big defensive play.

Adams' diving interception of a pass intended for York's Austin Wagner set up Willowbrook at the Dukes 28. Three plays later, Brandon Smith banged in a 10-yard touchdown run to go ahead 21-14.

Adams played sparingly at defensive back prior to this year but was given the assignment of checking Wagner all night. Wagner did haul in 12 passes for 200 yards. Adams, to his credit, kept his resolve.

"Toward the middle of the game I started to read (Wagner) better," Adams said, admitting "I still think I'm more of an offensive player."

"He's played a little bit of safety before, and he's doing a great job," Hildreth said. "It's not often that you get three picks from a corner."

Smith, who ran for 151 yards on 29 carries, gave Willowbrook a 28-17 lead with his 14-yard touchdown with 5:44 left. Peacock's 1-yard touchdown with 4:12 left pulled York within 28-23, and the Dukes forced a Willowbrook punt with a minute left.

It was muffed by the Dukes, though, and Willowbrook recovered. York, which dropped to 0-3, committed 5 turnovers.

"Turnovers just killed us," York coach Steve Nye said. "We moved the ball, but turnovers killed us."

York quarterback Andrew Iwaszkiewicz was 21 of 41 for 267 yards with a 10-yard touchdown pass to Wagner in the first quarter, and Peacock ran for 90 yards. Adams caught 5 passes for 112 yards with a 30-yard score in the first half for Willowbrook. The teams combined for 18 penalties. Penalties and two fumbles thwarted three Willowbrook drives past midfield in the first half. The Warriors would clean things up.

"We were able to finish drives in the second half," Hildreth said. "We told them at halftime, 'Don't give the ball away, just keep moving the chains.' We need to take care of the football better."

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