WW South-Glenbard West 2009 battle a state title game for the ages
Editor's note: Below is an edited version of the November 28, 2009 Daily Herald game story from the Class 7A state championship football game between Wheaton Warrenville South and Glenbard West.
CHAMPAIGN -- Since the start of the 2009 season, actually since the series ended three years earlier, so many football fans had clamored for a showdown between Wheaton Warrenville South and Glenbard West.
In the November 28, 2009 Class 7A state title game, all the teams did was exceed every expectation.
WW South claimed its sixth championship with a 31-24 double-overtime victory over previously unbeaten Glenbard West in the 65th meeting between the DuPage County rivals.
After Matt Rogers scored on a 1-yard dive to put the Tigers (13-1) ahead by a touchdown in the second overtime, a run for no gain and three incomplete passes by Glenbard West (13-1) ended a scintillating final.
"Our first game ever was against Glenbard West when we were 14 years old," Tigers senior receiver Mack Tracey said of his freshman year. "It's just really neat how full circle we've come in this whole high school experience. We finished with them, and that's something real special and something all of us will remember."
There's immense pride in being able to declare DuPage County football supremacy. Following one of the greatest title games in state history, there was plenty to be proud of on both sidelines.
"We're a stone's throw from each other," said Tigers coach Ron Muhitch. "To see that kind of good football get to the top of the class here, I think it's a credit to DuPage County."
Glenbard West (13-1) tied the game 17-17 midway through the fourth quarter on Adam Bruere's 1-yard scoring run. The Hilltoppers lined up for a potential game-winning 28-yard field goal in the final minute, but the kick went wide right to send the action to overtime.
Bruere scored on a 5-yard run to start the first overtime, and the Tigers were called for a roughing-the-kicker penalty that carried over to their offensive possession. On first-and-goal from the 25 the officials called a late hit on the Hilltoppers, putting WW South half the distance to the goal and keying a 1-yard touchdown run by Julian Banuelos three plays later.
Four straight runs gave WW South its touchdown in double overtime, leading to Glenbard West's final possession and the end of an epic title game.
"A couple plays go our way, a couple calls go our way, it turns out different," said Hilltoppers quarterback Tyler Warden. "But we weren't just satisfied with being down here, we wanted to bring one home. It just didn't go our way."
"This is just an incredible way to end the year," the Tigers' Nick Immekus said. "It's really hard to sink in. It's a dream we've all had since our freshman year, and we did it."
WW South took a 17-10 lead late in the third quarter on Reilly O'Toole's 23-yard touchdown pass to Jason Schuman. Glenbard West answered with a 14-play, 80-yard drive featuring Nick Burrello's 23-yard run and Bruere's game-tying 1-yard score.
Glenbard West rushed for 191 of its 293 total yards, paced by Burrello's 76 yards on 9 carries. O'Toole completed 10 of 21 passes for 129 yards and rushed for 35 yards.
"It was a heartbreaker," said Hilltoppers coach Chad Hetlet. "But we have nothing to be ashamed of. We'll walk out of here with our heads held high."