Maine West's quest for a unbeaten conference championship was snuffed out in a 31-30 double overtime loss to Deerfield in Des Plaines on Friday night.
Deeerfield upped its mark to 5-4 and 4-1 in Central Suburban North play.
Maine West dropped to 7-2 and 4-1 -- but it's still a history-filled season for the Warriors. Maine West tied for its first conference championship since 1979 and has earned its first playoff appearance since 2005.
The Maine West loss and the Deerfield win helped Deerfield qualify for the state playoffs, while Maine West had earned a berth several weeks ago.
The game came down to Maine West going for a 2-point conversion after Matt Kentgen caught a 7-yard touchdown pass from George Markakis.
"We saw something in their defense where we thought we could win the game with a 2-point conversion," said Maine West coach Jason Kradman. "They were doubling up on our tight ends and we thought that a run could get through."
Markakis took the snap from center, and with Deerfield defenders coming quickly the attempt to get the ball to running back Jake Bellizzi was dropped. Markakis fell on the ball as Deerfields Alex Latronica made the stop.
"It took too long for the play to develop," said Bellizzi. "We didn't do a very good job of stopping them in the fourth quarter."
Maine West led 17-7 after a bizarre third quarter that saw Deerfield commit four turnovers that led to two Maine West scores.
After it was tied at 7 at halftime, Maine West's Nick Horcher intercepted a pass at the Maine West 25. Forced to punt from its 27, Deerfield fumbled the punt with Landon Habler recovering at the Deerfield 20.
Jonathan Fierro kicked a 27-yard field goal with 5:13 left in the quarter for a 17-7 Maine West lead.
Maine West recovered the onside kick as Ely Grimmer ran the ball to the Deerfield 38.
Three plays later, Bellizzi (19 carries, 84 yds) scored from the 26 with 4:10 left in the quarter for a 17-7 Warriors lead.
Isaiah Siem-Davis recovered Deerfield quarterback Jonah Silverglade's fumble. Two plays later, Markakis had his pass picked off my Deerfield's Jonathan Dawson at Deerfield 25.
"That play was my fault," said Kardman. "They picked it off in the red zone."
Deerfield took possession at its own 40 with 5:49 left in regulation.
Silverglade connected with wide receiver John Vuckovich for a nifty 21-yard touchdown catch to cut the lead to 17-14.
Maine West was forced to punt, as Deerfield regained possession with 3:14 to go.
Deerfield used the clock smartly and moved the ball to the Maine West 7 before Finnegan Pressi kicked a 24 yard field goal to tie the score at 17 with :23 left.
In OT, Silverglade and Matt Litas exchanged touchdowns before Kenneth Kerstein scored from the 2 on third down.
"We fought to the end," said Bellizzi, who also was credited with 11 tackles. "We'll have to remember the things we did wrong and work on that in practice this next week."
Maine West managed just 83 rushing yards and 122 passing as Markais went 11 of 25 with the 1 interception.
"We didn't play very consistent on offense in the first half," said Kradman. "Too many dropped balls and some untimely penalties that put us behind the chains."
The outcome complated a major turnaround for a Deerfield program which struggled early this season.
"I broke my MCL and missed three games after our opener," said Silverglade, who rushed for 106 yards in 28 carries and was 13 of 24 passing for 142 yards. "We were 1-3 at that point. The seniors wanted to make something out of the rest of the season and make it special."