WW South bounces back with OT win at Neuqua Valley
Defense was the highlight for both teams as host Neuqua Valley and Wheaton Warrenville South did battle on Friday night.
And the Tigers (1-1) got some timely offense to win in overtime 10-7.
In the season-opening loss to Simeon, WW South surrendered over 300 yards on the ground. Coach Sean Norris said that had to change.
"We challenged the defense and they had an unbelievable response," he said. "We worked on basic things like tackling and pursuing and the offense made enough plays."
The Tigers held Neuqua (1-1) to 115 rushing yards.
WW South got the ball first in extra time with play beginning at the 10-yard line. The drive started with two incomplete passes before quarterback Luca Carbonaro ran to the four. That would set up a chip shot for kicker Maison Haas who sailed it right down the middle for that 10-7 advantage.
The Wildcats would fumble on their subsequent drive with Lucas Rossini recovering which sealed the win for WW South.
Norris spoke of how the defense played well overall, but mentioned what he thought were outstanding performances from Charlie Butt and Colin Moore in the secondary along with defensive lineman Andrew Moore and linebacker Zach Choromokos.
Neuqua got on the board first in regulation with a seven-play, 50-yard drive that was capped with quarterback Mark Mennecke's 10-yard keeper with 4.3 seconds left until halftime.
Mennecke was injured on the play and tried to play on Neuqua's first two drives of the second half, but was taken out. Coach Bill Ellinghaus said Mennecke has a bad ankle sprain.
"The defense played extremely well. When you give up just seven points, that's more than you can ask for," Ellinghaus said.
"The offense struggled tonight. The line played well. We would get some momentum and then have a miscue and then we played behind the chains and that's tough to do against a defense like Wheaton Warrenville South."
The Tigers tied the game in regulation on a 44-yard pass from Carbonaro to Daijion Riley with 8:05 left in the fourth quarter.