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With Niles West clinging to a lead late in the second quarter against visiting Waukegan, Wolves safety Tommy Williams made the play of the game.
Waukegan quarterback Melvin BoBo IV dropped back to pass from his 7-yard line and threw a hitch pass to wide receiver Jaleel Darr-Duffie. Williams stepped in front of the receiver at the 15-yard line and took the interception into the end zone untouched to help Niles West to a 13-0 win over the Bulldogs.
"I just felt that the hitch was coming and I jumped it," Williams, who was all smiles after the game, said. "There was nothing but green in front of me."
Niles West (5-0, 1-0) thoroughly shut down the Waukegan (2-3, 0-1) attack in the Central Suburban Conference South Division opener for both teams. Led by 6-2, 275 pound defensive tackle Dennis Gargovic, the Wolves sacked BoBo IV nine times, with Gargovic recording 2 1/2 in the game played amidst a steady rain.
"He (Gargovic) is just so disruptive inside," Niles West coach Scott Baum said. "Our defense really played well."
On the offensive side, running back Anthony Underwood carried the ball 14 times for 98 yards. Kicker Connor Lee put the Wolves on the board with a 25-yard field goal in the first quarter. He also closed the scoring out with a 32-yard field goal early in the fourth.
Darr-Duffie had five catches for 49 yards, while BoBo was 8-for-15 for 68 yards. The senior quarterback was hurt late in the fourth quarter when he was sandwiched on a run between two Niles West players. He was helped off the field and did not return. Jedeniah Parsell registered an interception for the Bulldogs.
The last time that Niles West was undefeated this far into the season was back in 1971 when they went 8-0-1.
"Who would have thought it," Williams said.