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The Wolves defense did have one turnover in the first half, an interception from senior Drew Norton. It was a special moment for Norton.
A year ago, he watched from the stands as the Wolves won the state title at Memorial Stadium in Champaign. Norton, who had played football since he was 7, quit the team prior to his junior season in 2016.
“I wasn’t getting a lot of playing time in the summer,” Norton said. “I quit and saw they beat Cary-Grove in Week 1, and I knew it was the biggest mistake I ever made.”
He participated in the Wolves’ offseason programs and earned a starting spot toward the end of the summer.
“I was more than willing to do whatever it took,” Norton said.
He earned back the trust of his teammates and coaches, and this time around, Norton will be playing in the state title game, not watching it.
Norton’s interception came on a fourth-down play for Hoffman Estates, deep into Prairie Ridge territory.
The Hawks came into the game averaging 30.9 points a game, with a quarterback who had thrown for more than 2,500 yards.
“We knew they had a ton of athletes,” defensive back Justin Mikolajczewski said. “They showcased that.”