Waubonsie Valley refuses to yield to Oak Park
Throughout Oak Park's final drive of the game, Waubonsie Valley defensive back Carson O'Donnell kept preaching one message.
"Bend, don't break," the senior told his defensive mates.
Boy, did they bend.
But, just as O'Donnell preached, the Warriors refused to break. Waubonsie Valley stopped a 66-yard drive by Oak Park at its' 14-yard line to preserve a 24-17 win.
"Basically, we did enough to not shoot ourselves in the foot," Waubonsie Valley coach Paul Murphy said. "We were shooting ourselves in the foot in the first half. We didn't have as many mistakes in the second half and we made some plays."
Waubonsie Valley (1-0) made plays when it needed them. The Warriors mustered only 201 yards of total offense and 2 first downs in the game, but time and time again, they made a play -- on offense and defense -- when they needed it the most.
With 2 minutes, 1 second to play, Oak Park (0-1) took possession at its' own 20. The Huskies, who had one timeout, churned out quick plays that nabbed them first downs and stopped the clock, moving the ball quickly into Warriors territory.
Oak Park quarterback Jared McGill and Trevor Brown connected for a 7-yard pass that put the Huskies on the 14-yard line with 16 seconds left and quickly called a timeout.
"Nerve-racking," O'Donnell said of the drive. "It was crazy."
But the Warriors calmed their nerves. McGill was forced out of the pocket, and a pair of Waubonsie Valley defenders wrapped him up -- in bounds for a sack. The Warriors were flagged for an unsportsmanlike penalty after the play, but since time had ran out, Oak Park couldn't run another play.
"It was an amazing effort," O'Donnell said. "Our defense had a great game."
Offensively, Waubonsie Valley had a dream start -- quite literally.
The Warriors ran a triple option, where quarterback Jack Drow kept the ball, ran to the left and, as Oak Park defenders crashed in on him, pitched the ball to Bryce Logan, who took it 51 yards for a touchdown giving the Warriors a 7-0 lead.
"I was dreaming about that the night before," Drow said. "I was telling people at school, that was the play. I was telling them, 'First play, we're going to score, so you better be there to watch it.'"
And Drow gave the Warriors another big play in the second quarter.
Trailing 14-7, Drow hit a wide-open Julian Cain for a 42-yard touchdown with 2:55 left before halftime.
Oak Park hit a field goal as time expired in the first half, but Waubonsie Valley held the Huskies scoreless after that.
Drow and Cain connected again on a big play in the fourth quarter. Tied at 17 with 10:11 to play on fourth and 7 from the Oak Park 29-yard-line, Murphy played his ace card. The Warriors went for it and Drow hit Cain for the game-winning touchdown.
"They're a Cover-3 defense so we had a Cover-3-beater call," Murphy said. "I had been saving it the whole half, waiting for the right moment (and) I said, 'Why not right now?' and we did it."
And the Warriors defense preserved the win.
"That last play, it was crazy," O'Donnell said. "But bend, don't break."