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Hector Ortiz of Glenbard North kicks a field goal, set up by teammate Brian Murphy. The field goal was successful and handed Glenbard West the win with less than 6 seconds remaining. | Patrick Gleason ~ For the Sun-Times
Hector Ortiz didn’t miss this time.
Glenbard North’s junior kicker couldn’t convert from 34 yards in the final two minutes a week earlier against Wheaton Warrenville South, but his 35-yard field goal try against Wheaton North on Friday night eased over the crossbar with 5.4 seconds left in the game.
That gave No. 14 Glenbard North a stirring 17-15 win over No. 6 Wheaton North in a battle of DuPage Valley Conference unbeatens in Carol Stream.
“Last week was just tough,” Ortiz said.
But it also put him at ease when opportunity knocked for the second straight week. “It really calmed me,” Ortiz said. “It was my first time ever [attempting a game-winning field goal] last week and the pressure was on this week.”
He was in a familiar spot because Wheaton North (7-1, 5-1) had taken a 15-14 lead on John Peltz’s 72-yard touchdown pass to Matt Biegalski and a conversion pass from Peltz to Patrick Sharp with 2:39 left. That score came on the first play after the Falcons stopped Glenbard North on downs, ending an 8-minute, 13-second drive that consumed a big chunk of the fourth quarter.
But the Falcons quick strike left just enough time for Glenbard North quarterback Brian Murphy (9 of 18, 192 yards, touchdown) to work some magic.
The Panthers started at their own 24 with 2:33 left and got to the Falcons’ 11 with 59 seconds to play. But a holding penalty, a sack and
a delay of game penalty pushed Glenbard North back to the 33. A 15-yard pass got them to within field-goal range and Ortiz had just enough distance to gain a measure of redemption. Murphy was 3-of-4 for 49 yards on the drive and also had a 12-yard scramble.
“It just shows how much he’s grown as a quarterback and how much we’ve grown as a team,” said Justin Jackson, who ran 23 times for 140 yards and a touchdown.
Murphy hit Ryan Storto with a 57-yard touchdown pass for a 7-0 Glenbard North with 3:29 left in the first quarter.
The Panthers (7-1, 6-0) made it 14-0 at 10:17 of the third quarter on Jackson’s 58-yard touchdown run.
Wheaton North pulled within 14-7 on Clayton Thorson’s 36-yard touchdown scramble and the Falcons then went ahead late, setting the stage for Ortiz.
Peltz was 8-of-14 passing for 162 yards, while Thorson went 5-of-6 for 39 yards in the Falcons’ quarterback rotation. Sharp ran 13 times for 69 yards.