Daily Herald's 2017 Season Coverage
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updated: 9/11/2016 2:51 PM

Neuqua Valley locks in win at Waubonsie

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  • Isaiah Robertson

    Isaiah Robertson


They call the football game between district rivals Neuqua Valley and Waubonsie Valley the War of 204.

There was also the dustup of 204 Friday night at Dick Kerner Stadium in Aurora. Late in the first half Waubonsie quarterback Tanner Westwood scrambled into the Neuqua sideline and a skirmish ensued.

Fortunately only 12 seconds remained before halftime.

"The coaches got on us, they told us we need to keep our composure because we still had a whole other half to play," Neuqua receiver and safety Isaiah Robertson said.

Using momentum from Nick Lamoso's 78-yard return of the second-half kickoff Westwood scored to tie the game, but Neuqua Valley stole back momentum and went on to win the DuPage Valley Conference game 24-17.

"They were locked in," said Neuqua coach Bill Ellinghaus, whose Wildcats improved to 14-6 in the series against Waubonsie (2-1, 2-1).

"They were locked in, ready to just come back out and play football. That's a real feather in their caps."

Westwood's 1-yard touchdown run, which made the score 14-14, was one of six plays Waubonsie Valley ran in the third quarter to 20 for Neuqua Valley.

Countering Westwood's touchdown run, Neuqua (3-0, 3-0) gained 4 first downs and scored on Cameron Raupach's 3-yard run around 290-pound left tackle Kevin Luna.

Ryan Wheeler's interception -- 1 of 3 for the Wildcats -- regained possession. On the first play of the fourth quarter Stephen Ruiz booted a 20-yard field goal for a 24-14 Neuqua lead.

Waubonsie coach Paul Murphy didn't enjoy his team's practices this week, which he believed was reflected on the field.

"You've got to be able to be crisp. We weren't crisp tonight," Murphy said. "They didn't do anything we didn't expect. They outplayed us. They came harder than us, they outexecuted us, and they deserved to win, and there's no ifs, ands or buts about it."

Cross Holmes' 26-yard field goal pulled the Warriors within 24-17 with 7:43 left in the game. Waubonsie nearly came up with a long pass play but Neuqua's Joey Elwood wrestled the ball away for an interception.

Waubonsie defensive lineman Jake Julian recovered a fumble with 2:12 left. A Jackson Keating sack helped end that final chance.

Neuqua Valley led 14-7 after one half. Waubonsie struck first on a 30-yard pass to Josh LeMoine from Westwood.

Robertson, who registered 130 all-purpose yards and an interception, scored on a 15-yard flare from Jake Eskoff, and Anthony Ippolito went in from 1 yard out.

"It feels pretty surreal," Keating said. "I'm kind of speechless. I can't wait to get out with my family and celebrate the win. It's going to be good."

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