Glenbard North collects first win
Glenbard North got its first victory on Friday night thanks to some late-game theatrics, coming from behind to defeat Wheaton Warrenville South 25-21.
Both teams entered the night winless and anxious to get a DuPage Valley Conference victory that could help to redefine their season. But it took each team a quarter to feel each other out and begin settling in.
Glenbard North (1-2) started the scoring on the first play of the second quarter when Anthony Cusumano intercepted a pass from Zach Harris and returned it 20 yards for the score.
However, Wheaton Warrenville South responded with a score of their own on the very next drive when Ryan Young plunged in from 2 yards out.
Late in the half, they were poised to strike again, but a pair of big losses forced them into more uncomfortable field-goal territory. They missed and the game went to the half tied 7-7.
"We felt like we should have scored down there right before half," Muhitch said. "We haven't closed out a first half -- either offensively or defensively -- the way we've wanted all year."
In the second half the Wheaton Warrenville South offense continued rolling. On their first drive they took a lead they'd hold on to until late with a 26-yard strike from Harris to Kendall Simpson.
That started a back and forth where the two teams traded touchdowns on four consecutive drives. However, a missed extra point and a failed 2-point conversion after a Jayleen Fitzpatrick touchdown for Glenbard North left 21-19 lead with 3:52 to play.
And that's where the night took a turn.
On the ensuing kickoff the Panthers took advantage of an alignment issue by the Tigers (0-3). They sent a pooch kick toward their own sideline, got a fortuitous bounce and then senior Josh Flowers' wide receiver instincts kicked in as he corralled the ball and got both feet in bounds to take possession.
"We had to get that and we couldn't give up or anything," Flowers said. "I used my skills, got my two feet in and caught it, so it's a good feeling."
Glenbard North proceeded to march 32 yards in 5 plays, capping the drive with a 12-yard rushing touchdown by Fitzpatrick. He finished with 26 carries for 134 yards and 2 touchdowns.
Wheaton Warrenville South's last chance was hampered by a penalty and a sack.
"Getting the first win gets the momentum going. Now we're on to McCracken down in Kentucky," Glenbard North coach Ryan Wilkens said. "I was proud of our kids the first two weeks, though. We were bouncing ideas off each other and we pulled together these last couple of weeks."