Byline: Daily Herald Staff Reports
It's said that football is a game of inches; something that you can tangibly measure.
It's actually a game of emotions, but there wasn't a tape long enough to measure the emotion in Lombard as Glenbard East defeated Glenbard North 25-22 in a hair-raising, nail-biting battle.
"We played with emotion, we played together, we played as a team," said Rams coach Dennis Lueck. "We have to play like every game is the last game we're ever going to play."
It took a big defensive stand at the end of the game by the Rams and a last-minute 3-yard run by Jim Bell to finally give the home team the victory.
Glenbard East (3-0, 1-0) came into the DVC opener for both teams as the favorite. Someone forgot to tell the Panthers.
Down 19-7 after the half, Glenbard North (1-2, 0-1) came back with two Jim Tragos-to-Eric Robertson touchdown passes to take the 22-19 lead with 8:26 left in the match.
"They had us on the ropes," Lueck said. " We didn't give up."
The tide returned to the Rams when John Williams, who had scored on two touchdown runs of 6 and 21 yards in the first half, intercepted a Tragos pass with 4:06 to go. With 1:30 left, John Bell lost a fumble to the Panthers and it seemed like it may be over.
On the next play, senior lineman Russ Fann (2 sacks) stripped the ball from Jason Helms, giving the Rams the ball at the Panthers 28. One minute later, with Glenbard East players holding hands high along the sidelines, Jim Bell plunged in for the game-winner.
Williams sealed off Tragos' last-second desperation pass from midfield with his second interception of the game.
Williams finished with 116 yards rushing for the Rams, followed by Jerome Jackson with 100 yards. Jim Bell added 76.
"It was a gutsy performance," Lueck said of Williams. "Big-time athletes make big-time plays, and he's one of them."
Wheaton N. 38, W. Chicago 6
It was a simple but effective gameplan. …