Duewel's last-second field goal lifts Naperville North to wild win over Bolingbrook
Naperville North's Tyler Duewel took the field Friday night ready to embrace the moment with the game on the line.
The junior kicker could not have asked for anything more than the opportunity to try a game-winning 20-yard field goal on the final play of the game.
"I walked out there and I was like, 'Let's do this,' " Duewel said. "This is why we play football, right? Earlier [Friday], I was thinking that this is what I wanted to do. I wanted to kick the game-winning field goal. When the teams combine to score 100 points, it's even better."
Duewel connected on the 20-yard field goal to lift the visiting Huskies to a wild 51-49 win over Bolingbrook.
Duewel provided the final heroics on a night filled with memorable performances. Senior running back Cole Arl ran for 314 yards and three touchdowns on 31 carries and added a 55-yard touchdown catch to lead the Huskies (2-1).
Bolingbrook sophomore quarterback Jonas Williams added to a young career filled with huge nights. He finished 32-of-40 passing for 355 yards and six touchdowns.
Kyan Berry Johnson, Adrian Jones and Chico Thomas had two touchdown catches each for Bolingbrook (2-1), which rallied from a 28-16 halftime deficit to lead in the final minute.
"It was a very tough loss," Williams said. "Last minute, they came back and got that last-second field goal. But it was great for us as a team. We showed a great effort. We were down two touchdowns in the second half, and we came back fighting. That's the excitement I see in our team. That's the life we have."
After Lonzo Duckworth's 40-yard touchdown run gave Naperville North a 48-41 lead with 1:48 to go, Bolingbrook responded with a 58-yard scoring drive.
Williams hit Jones for a 10-yard score with 44.5 seconds left to make it 48-47. After a timeout, the Raiders elected to go for two and Williams found Berry Johnson for the conversion and a 49-48 lead.
"I feel like that showed our fight," Williams said. "They couldn't really stop us. We kept fighting. We just have to get back and get better. There were a lot of things we could have done better. We made a lot of mistakes. Now we're just going to get back in the lab and work on those mistakes. I'm already fired up. I can't wait to get back to work."
The two-point conversion seemed like it would be a winning play, but Naperville North had other ideas.
Arl broke off a pair of 17-yard runs to help set up the field goal for Duewel, who was confident his teammates would give him a chance despite there being so little time left.
"As soon as they went for two, I was like, 'That's a bad choice,'" Duewel said. "I know our team well enough. I know our offense. We've got some dogs. Our quarterback is the best quarterback in Illinois, our offensive line is the best offensive line in Illinois, our running back is the best running back in Illinois. We've got the best wide receivers."
Arl knows it was the kind of win that can give Naperville North some major momentum heading into DuPage Valley Conference play.
"Our first three games, we played three really good teams, going 2-1 really leads us into DVC play well," Arl said. "We just stayed motivated. We came together and kept on pushing."
Bolingbrook, meanwhile, will look to bounce back after a night that featured plenty of positives besides the ultimate result.
"I love the direction this team is heading in," Bolingbrook coach Titcus Pettigrew said. "We started in the summer and tried to build a culture where we're going to commit to the weight room, we're going to do things the right way and we're never going to give up.
"Every game we play, you're going to see us go to the final whistle. They've really bought in because there were moments this could have gotten out of hand and they stuck together. That's what builds character. We're going to grow and learn from this, but I told them there's nothing wrong with being 8-1."