Belief in oneself leads to great things.
It led to Waubonsie Valley's 42-35 DuPage Valley Conference win over host Naperville North on Friday to keep the Warriors' drive for an 11th straight playoff berth intact.
"That's tonight what the difference was, is we believed and they did what we wanted for the majority of the game," said Warriors coach Paul Murphy.
One play after Huskies linebacker Andrew Reinhard sacked him, Waubonsie quarterback Tanner Westwood hit Charles Robinson for a 40-yard touchdown pass that with Cross Holmes' kick gave the Warriors the final margin with 32 seconds remaining.
"He ran a great route," said Westwood, 18-of-26 passing for 230 yards and 2 touchdowns plus 76 yards rushing with a 1-yard touchdown run to start the scoring.
"Showed like he was running to the corner and then just came back," Westwood said, "and when he came back he was wide open. They actually tried double-covering him and he got away from both of them. Great route, great ball and great result."
Robinson sealed the victory with an interception, his second of the game in spot secondary duty, on Drake Davis' Hail Mary pass into the end zone.
"We knew that from here on out it's playoff football," said Robinson, who caught 5 passes for 112 yards. "If we don't win we're out, so we've just got to keep going hard in practice and fight hard on the field like we did today."
Waubonsie Valley (4-4, 4-3) needs a win next week at Wheaton North to extend its season. Playoff-eligible Naperville North (5-3, 4-3) visits a WW South team tougher than its 2-6 record.
"We didn't get enough going early and defensively we couldn't get any stops, and if you can't stop people it makes it really tough. In our league right now defensive coordinator's no fun," said Huskies coach Sean Drendel, who directs defense, too.
Waubonsie owned time of possession 31 minutes to 17 for the Huskies and led 21-7 early in the second quarter.
"We had, I think, 18 plays in the first half. Their offense, they did good. They kept us off the field, which if you want to beat us that's the way to get us," said Davis, 14-of-22 passing for 265 yards and 2 touchdowns to Ryan Laurenzo, who caught 6 passes for 139 yards.
Naperville North tied 21-21 at halftime on Brett Zdrubecky's 4-yard run and Reinhard's fumble recovery in the end zone after a high Warriors punt snap.
"I just told them at halftime it's about believing. If you guys will believe, they haven't stopped our offense," Murphy said.
Warriors tailback Nate Ashford capped a 12-play drive on Waubonsie's first second-half possession to get the ball rolling.
"We were holding the ball but they kept coming back," said Ashford, who ran for 121 yards and 3 touchdowns plus an 11-yard touchdown catch for a 35-27 lead with 7:41 to play.
"We expected them to keep fighting, they're a good team, they had a lot of high-scoring games. We just had to believe and we believed and we got it done," Ashford said.