WW South wins in double OT
Chan Vong walked onto Red Grange Field to play his first high school football game Friday night.
He walked off a hero.
Vong's 21-yard field goal in double overtime gave Wheaton Warrenville South a 10-7 lead over visiting Wheaton North in their DuPage Valley Conference season opener.
On the ensuing possession, the Falcons -- pushed back 6 yards on second down -- came up short on a 32-yard field-goal attempt to end the game.
"I was real nervous on the sideline, but once I got on the field I couldn't feel a thing," said Vong, a senior who came out for football after spending three years playing soccer. "Everything was blank. Next thing you know I'm out here cheering."
A ragged first half resulted in no scoring, just 8 punts and 15 penalties for 130 yards. Then came the eventful third quarter when Wheaton North took a 7-0 lead on Luke Anthony's 18-yard pass to Marcus Gustaveson, only to see WW South march down the field on the next possession and tie the game on J.J. Johnson's 2-yard run.
By the end of the fourth quarter, the score remained deadlocked at 7-7.
"It was really tense," Johnson said. "Probably the most intense game I've played in my life."
Wheaton North had the ball first in the first overtime. On fourth down at the 10 the Falcons, who needed punter Anthony Sawyer to handle kicking duties because of an injury to Jake Barry, failed on a fake field-goal attempt when the Tigers sniffed out the shovel pass from the holder.
The Tigers' ensuing possession ended early when they fumbled the ball over to Wheaton North on the 6-yard line.
Both offenses struggled mightily, although Johnson was crucial on the touchdown drive while rushing for 30 yards and catching a 21-yard pass from Mike Stebbins. Including his 18-yard scoring strike, Anthony finished 14 of 23 for 109 yards.
Sustaining drives, however, proved beyond difficult for both sides.
"We hoped to be more productive offensively than what we were tonight," said Wheaton North coach Joe Wardynski. "We didn't make enough plays tonight to get a win."
WW South's seniors, who lost to the Falcons at the freshman, sophomore and junior varsity levels, especially enjoyed the win.
"Big win for us, and a tough loss for Joe because it could have gone either way," said Tigers coach Ron Muhitch. "It's one thing to talk about it, it's another thing to have a victory they can believe in. We can build on that very much."
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