When It Counted The Most – South Wins!

South clips North in battle of Wheaton – By Mike Helfgot / Chicago Tribune

What felt like all of Wheaton got into the spirit of Friday night football. If the play on the field did not always match the excitement surrounding it, that’s OK with Wheaton Warrenville South’s J.J. Johnson. Victories in the souped-up DuPage Valley Conference will be exceedingly difficult this fall, and Johnson was not about to apologize for the host Tigers’ 10-7 double-overtime victory over Wheaton North before a huge crowd at Red Grange Field. Chan Vong’s 20-yard field goal on the first possession of the second overtime provided the winning margin in a game filled with penalties and mishandled snaps.

“First-game jitters,” said Johnson, who rushed for 104 yards and Wheaton South’s only touchdown. “And we weren’t used to the speed of the game. “It was probably the most intense game I’ve ever played in. It was weird playing them the first game of the season, but we like the challenge.” Overtime was a microcosm of the evening. Wheaton North hurt itself with a delay of game penalty on third down from the 5-yard line, then got nowhere on a fake field-goal attempt.

In position to win, Wheaton South lost a fumbled snap to force another extra session. After Vong broke the deadlock, Wheaton North lost six yards on a fumble and attempted a 33-yard field goal that may not have traveled half that far. “We’ve still got a lot to improve on,” Johnson said. “If we cut down on our penalties we should be all right.”

Player of the game: J.J. Johnson, Wheaton South, 104 rushing yards, TD; 2 receptions, 49 yards

Key performers:

Wheaton South — Chan Vong, winning 20-yard FG; Jack Bucholz, 2 sacks.

Wheaton North — Luke Anthony, 18-yd TD pass to Marcus Gustaveson.

Helfgot is a freelance reporter. Complete article here: