Gamble pays off as Woodstock North beats Woodstock

WOODSTOCK – Woodstock North holder Jimmy Krenger caught the snap on the extra-point attempt, leaped out of his stance and spotted an open teammate in the end zone.

“It was probably the best feeling I’ve ever had before,” Krenger said.

One great fake.

Two huge points.

Woodstock North made it count for a 22-21 win against Woodstock on Friday in front of a packed crowd at Larry Dale Field. The Thunder (1-3, 1-0 FVC Fox) staved off a long, late drive by the Blue Streaks (0-4, 0-2) to earn their first win of the season.

It didn’t come easily.

Woodstock never trailed in the first three quarters, grabbing leads of 7-0, 14-7 and 21-14 against its crosstown rival. But when Woodstock North closed the gap once again with a 26-yard touchdown run by junior Jordan Plummer with 11:35 remaining in the fourth quarter, coach Jeff Schroeder called for a fake on the point-after attempt.

The Thunder lined up in typical formation, but Krenger tucked the ball and stood up rather than planting it in the grass for the extra-point kick. He rolled right and completed a pass to Alex Mitchell, who was wide open near the back of the end zone.

Why decide to go for the high-risk, high-reward two-point conversion?

“We’re 0-3,” Schroeder said. “It’s a crosstown rivalry. Why not?

“We tied McHenry last week and lost. So, in my mind, I didn’t even want it to feel the same, tying them. I thought we’ll do it, and if we don’t get it, then there’s still more game to play. So let’s give it a shot. And they executed it perfectly.”

On the other side of the field, Woodstock coach Steve Beard said too many penalties and individual breakdowns cost his team in a hard-fought contest.

Beard said he was proud of the way his players competed.

“Our kids played very, very hard," Beard said. "And at times they played very, very well.”

Woodstock North nose tackle James Elsinger provided one of the best plays of the game on defense, sprinting through the line of scrimmage to sack Woodstock quarterback Alan Hafer on the game’s final drive.

Thunder fans stormed the field after the game to celebrate with smiling players.

“It was intense,” Krenger said. “It was probably one of the most intense games I’ve ever been in. We’ve just got to keep on pushing, even when we’re behind.

“We can never get that feeling of, ‘All right, the game is over.’ We’ve got to keep on playing our hearts out.”

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