Daily Herald's 2017 Season Coverage
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updated: 9/3/2016 12:26 AM

Naperville North tops Metea Valley in OT

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  • Mark Black/mblack@dailyherald.comNaperville North varsity football player Cam Hardy

    Mark Black/mblack@dailyherald.comNaperville North varsity football player Cam Hardy

By D.J. Wanberg
Daily Herald Correspondent

The concept of dominance bought a ticket to Friday night's Naperville North home football opener against Metea Valley and sat in the stands.

This was a game of constant momentum shifts, and in the end the Huskies got the last one and won in overtime 41-40.

"Metea is a good team. We were just being persistent," said Naperville North senior Cam Hardy whose 85-yard kick turn with 3:43 left in regulation tied the game and sent into overtime.

In the extra period Metea got first shot at the Huskies' 10-yard line. Alonzo Taylor-Jones ran for 3 yards on the next play. That was followed by Payton Thorne finding Blake Williams in the end zone to put the Mustangs ahead. Sam Barton made the extra point and the Mustangs had a 40-33 advantage.

Naperville North (2-0, 1-0 DuPage Valley Conference) got its turn next. On the first play quarterback Luke Cegles hit Mitch Lewis for the touchdown. The Huskies decided to go for the 2-point conversion, and Cegles connected with Nick Calcagno for the pass and the celebration began for the home team.

"It's unreal," Calcagno said. "Every time the defense scored, the offense knew it had to score. And we made the plays."

The Huskies continue building momentum that started in the final weeks of the 2015 season.

"We have lots of leadership," Calcagno, a junior, said. "We have so many seniors returning that are leaders."

Overtime was made possible thanks to Hardy and his 85-yard kick return.

"I had gotten beat on the last play. Anger was building up inside me and I just wanted to take the ball and score for the team," he said.

His big play had followed Thorne's first TD pass to Williams, a 27-yard connection that gave the Mustangs (0-2, 0-2) a 33-26 advantage.

The game was tied at halftime on a key play by the Naperville North defense; Julian Collins grabbed a Metea pass and returned it 21 yards for a touchdown. Matt Malan's extra point tied the game at 10. Malan made field goals of 27 and 42 yards on the night.

Week 3 will see Naperville North travel to Wheaton North. Metea will host Naperville Central for its home opener.

"We'll bounce back next week. I thought we bounced back well from last week. That was not much of a competition (35-7 loss at Neuqua Valley)," Thorne said.

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