Wheaton North surprises Waubonsie Valley

By Bill Stone
Daily Herald Correspondent
Updated 10/24/2015 12:09 AM

Wheaton North's football season began with a frustrating field goal in an overtime loss at rival Wheaton Warrenville South.

On Friday the Falcons finished with jubilation thanks to a field goal from the foot of once injured senior Jake Barry.


Barry's 27-yarder with 31.5 seconds left gave the Falcons a 9-7 Senior Night victory over Waubonsie Valley in Wheaton after trailing the entire game and not scoring until 3:31 left.

Barry joined the varsity as a sophomore but missed the first three games this season after breaking his foot two days before the opener.

"I didn't have great numbers, but I was happy that I could end my senior season like this," Barry said. "Our offense and defense stayed tough throughout the game. It was a fun game."

The Falcons (4-5, 4-4 in DuPage Valley Conference) finished 4-5 for the second year in a row. Friday's "playoff" game for them very well could keep DVC newcomer Warriors (5-4, 4-4) out of the playoffs for the first time since 2006, their last 5-4 season.

"It was about the seniors tonight. It's great for them to go out with good win against a good team," Wheaton North coach Joe Wardynski said.

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The Warriors finished with 38 playoff points -- right where Waubonsie Valley coach Paul Murphy believes the cutoff will be when pairings are announced Saturday night.

"I hope for our seniors' sake, we get one more game. If not, hopefully we learn from it," Murphy said. "Our kids have been inconsistent all year long. Getting our guys to understand that has been a major issue all year -- you can't take anybody lightly in the DVC."

If the Warriors don't make it, the inspired late effort by the Falcons and losses to two other non-qualifiers will be the difference.

Waubonsie took its opening drive 55 yards on four plays with Max Ihry scoring on a 3-yard run. But the Warriors struggled the rest of the way and missed a 42-yard field goal in the third quarter.

The Warriors still nearly escaped after Ray Braun and Connor Yukna stopped the 2-point conversion run by quarterback Luke Anthony after his 2-yard TD run with 3:31 left following a pass interference penalty in the end zone.


When Wheaton North ran out of timeouts but forced the Warriors into punt formation, junior Erik Mueller broke through and blocked it, giving the Falcons the ball at the 20 with 1:07 to go.

After 4 yards by converted running back Bo Neidballa and two sideline passes for 11 yards from Anthony to Adam Terrini, Barry delivered his third field goal this season.

"They outplayed us. My hat's off to Wheaton North," Murphy said. "We preached all week that they would try to block a punt and sure enough they did. All we needed was get a couple of first downs and we didn't get the second one. Last week we couldn't get 1 yard twice (and lost in OT to Naperville North)."

Barry put the ensuing kickoff in the end zone. The Warriors reached the Falcons' 38 before a batted away pass as time expired.

"I'm in shock a little bit, but (the block) was so much fun for me. That's what you live for. That's what you work for," Mueller said. "This is a great way to go out. This is for the seniors."

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