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Neuqua Valley's Joey Rattigan jumps to avoid a tackle during their game against Waubonsie Valley at North Central College on Friday, October 5, 2012. | Brian Powers~Sun-Times Media
Not much went Neuqua Valley’s way early on Friday night.
The No. 10 Wildcats hurt themselves with penalties and needed a pair of interceptions deep in their own territory to keep No. 14 Waubonsie Valley within striking distance.
So Neuqua quarterback Dylan Andrew definitely saw the glass as half full.
“We were kind of beating ourselves up in the first half, to be honest,” he said. “We knew if we cleaned that up in the second half and we executed, we’d get it.”
The Wildcats did get the win before a standing room-only crowd at North Central College, 35-34, but they needed two overtimes to do it.
Andrew hit Mikey Dudek with a three-yard touchdown pass on the first possession of the second OT and the Wildcats decided to kick the PAT.
Waubonsie quarterback Dylan Warden then sneaked in from the one on third down and after a timeout, the Warriors decided to go for two points and the win. But Warden appeared to stumble and fell short of the endzone, setting off a Neuqua celebration.
“It was a great game,” Warden said. “We can’t blame [the loss] on that play. ... Neuqua’s a great team.”
Neuqua’s Joey Rhattigan ran six yards for the tying touchdown in the first overtime after Waubonsie’s Austin Guido had scored from 10 yards out on the first play.
Neuqua (7-0, 4-0 Upstate Eight Valley) tied it at 21 with 1:36 left in regulation when Andrew hit Ryan Kuhl with a 31-yard touchdown pass on fourth-and-11.
Andrew wasn’t surprised Kuhl was wide open.
“I knew the safety would jump on Mikey,” Andrew said, noting the Warriors were double- and triple-teaming Dudek all night.
Waubonsie (6-1, 3-1) had taken a 21-14 lead with 3:20 left in the fourth quarter when Warden hit Wisconsin recruit Troy Fumagalli with a six-yard touchdown pass.
Rhattigan’s one-yard scoring run at the 6:38 mark of the third quarter pulled Neuqua into a 14-14 tie.
Warden was 11-of-16 for 124 yards after halftime after going 3-of-9 for one yard in the first half.
Guido ran 37 times for 252 yards. Rhattigan had 132 yards on 33 carries.
Waubonsie took a 7-0 lead on Warden’s one-yard sneak with 6:17 left in the first quarter.
Neuqua tied it on its next possession, as Rhattigan powered in from the 3-yard line with 1:19 remaining in the first quarter.
Waubonsie regained the lead when Warden hit Christian Gibbs with a 17-yard touchdown pass with 2:14 left before halftime.
Guido had 15 carries for 135 yards in the first half and Warden was 3-of-7 passing for 54 yards. He was intercepted twice, by Spencer Donahue and Sam Norgaard.
Rhattigan ran 18 times for 79 yards in the first half.