York, with Kelly Watson’s TD in OT, beats Downers Grove North in thriller between WSC Silver unbeatens

York's Kelly Watson (1) celebrates a touchdown with Brian Grant (10) during the boys varsity football game between Downers Grove North and York on Friday, Sept. 16, 2022 in Elmhurst, IL.

ELMHURST – In a matchup of undefeated teams with stingy defenses, it was the legs of Damian Glodz and Kelly Watson that ultimately proved to be the difference.

Glodz kicked a game-tying field goal at the end of regulation and Watson had the winning touchdown in overtime, giving York a 24-17 West Suburban Silver victory over Downers Grove North on Sept. 16.

Watson scored on a two-yard run in the extra session and finished with 145 yards on 21 carries. He had a 42-yard TD in the first quarter.

“We came in here prepared because we knew they would bring it,” Watson said. “We played hard. A shoutout to our O-line especially. They played their hearts out, especially in overtime. And credit to our defense. They also played their hearts out.

“It was a great win in front of our home crowd.”

In his first season of kicking for the Dukes (4-0, 2-0), Glodz, a club soccer player, made a 32-yard field goal as time expired to knot the score at 17-17.

“I was blocking out everything,” Glodz said about the field-goal attempt. “I was composed and just thinking about my field-goal technique.

“It’s the most amazing thing of my life. I’ve been training for this every day in practice and it all led up to this moment with my teammates encouraging me.”

Matt Vezza finished 16 of 30 through the air for York for 226 yards. Anthony Mancini caught six passes for 80 yards. Charlie Specht hauled in a 35-yard touchdown in the third quarter.

Defensively, Joe Reiff recovered a fumble to thwart a potential Trojans score and Cole Ostendorf tallied two sacks. York’s defense stopped the visitors on their overtime possession, forcing an incompletion on fourth down.

“Downers Grove North is an excellent football team,” York coach Mike Fitzgerald said. “We knew this would be a challenge. I’m really proud. A win like this shows the character of the team. We have unbelievable kids.

“I feel you learn more about your team in adverse situations than when things are going great. We had a lot of mistakes, but we found a way to overcome them. Our defense played unbelievable.”

Downers Grove North's Ethan Thulin (3) runs back a kick during the boys varsity football game between Downers Grove North and York on Friday, Sept. 16, 2022 in Elmhurst, IL.

Downers Grove North (3-1, 0-1) took a 14-7 halftime lead on two touchdown catches from Ethan Thulin. Sam Reichert found the senior for TD receptions of 5 and 19 yards.

The Trojans took a 17-14 lead in the fourth quarter on a 21-yard field goal by Sean Ryniec.

Reichert passed for 76 yards and rushed for 57. Owen Thulin had an interception and fumble recovery to lead the defense. Cael Brezina also had an interception.

“Unbelievable game. A fun atmosphere,” Downers North coach Joe Horeni said. “Their coaches did a great job. Our defensive coaches did a great job. We had the momentum in a lot of different moments, but we just didn’t execute when we needed to.

“Our conference is one of the toughest around and you have to bring it every night. We have to watch the film and get better.”