BELVIDERE, Ill. (WTVO/WQRF)–Our ‘Overtime’ Game of the Week didn’t disappoint Friday night. The Boylan Titans and Belvidere North Blue Thunder went head-to-head exchanging one big play after another before the Blue Thunder pulled out a 31-28 win.
Both teams went into the game with 2-0 records with all of their victories in the first two weeks coming in dominant fashion. In this game the Titans led 14-7 at halftime, after scoring twice in the second quarter on a 36-yard touchdown pass from Connor Dennis to Mark Harris, and on a three-year touchdown run by Mekhi Glover.
But the Blue Thunder made two thunderous plays right out of the gate in the second half. Belvidere North junior speedster Joseph Brown fielded the second half kickoff on the bounce. He got a crease to slip through the Titans in the middle of the field, and then he used his track speed to go 82 yards to tie up the game.
Only 21 seconds later the Blue Thunder struck quickly for another touchdown. Dennis had a pass carom off one of his receivers and right into the hands of linebacker Nick Winters. Winters turned it into a pick six giving North a 21-14 lead.
Boylan answered on an 11-yard touchdown pass from Dennis to Harris. That tied the game at 21-21. The Blue Thunder again answered with a big play. Running back Nico Bertolino burst 56-yards for a touchdown with 5:49 to play in the third quarter. Again Belvidere North had the lead 28-21.
Again Boylan answered. Glove capped off a long drive with a two yard touchdown tying the game at 28-28. with 5:49 to play in the third quarter.
The scoring slowed from there. Late in the fourth quarter Belvidere North put together a long, time-consuming drive taking the clock down to 1:20. Facing fourth down at Boylan’s 31 yard-line, the Blue Thunder sent out sophomore soccer player/kicker Alan Perez to attempt a 48-yard field goal. He made it with room to spare putting Belvidere North up 31-28.
The Titans’ still have plenty of time for their explosive offense to answer. Dennis fired a long pass to Harris that was completed to the Belvidere North 12-yard line. Moments later Dennis tried another pass over the middle near the end zone.
The two teams continued to trade scores. With 1:20 to play and the game tied at 28, North sophomore soccer player and kicker Alan Perez was sent on to attempt a 48-yard field goal. He nailed it putting the Blue Thunder in front by three 31-28.
There was still plenty of time for Boylan’s explosive offense to answer. Dennis promptly connected on a deep pass to Harris to the Belvidere North 12 yard line. Moments later Dennis went to the air again throwing over the middle. He never saw North linebacker Gabriel Long who stepped into the passing lane intercepting the ball. He fell to the ground preserving North’s lead. The Blue Thunder offense was then able to kneel and run out the clock for a 31-28 win.
To view highlights and hear postgame reaction from Belvidere North click on the media player.