It was an emotional finish for the Maine South Hawks as their undefeated season came to a halt and hopes of making it back to the state championship in Champaign reached an end.
The first seeded Hawks had trouble from the start, with two sacks on senior quarterback Matt Alviti in the first quarter, and only managing seven points.
The second quarter also was rocky for the Hawks, as the Glenbard North Panthers scored 14 consecutive points. Maine South added a 51 yard field goal by kicker John Oberheide, making the score 14-10.
The start of the second half gave the Panthers an 11 point lead, as junior running back Justin Jackson ran for 88 yards and a touchdown on the first snap of the second half.
"Not a way to start the second half," said Hawks head coach David Inserra. "But we had our chances, we had the ball, we had the win."
The second half kept everyone on their seats, with a rally of scoring, interceptions, sacks and missed opportunities by both sides. Ultimately, the Panthers came out victorious, scoring 15 in the third quarter to build a lead Maine South could not overcome.
"Hats off to them for a nice game," Inserra said. "Hard hitting, making plays here and there, that one was on us. We had chances and we didn't make them."
When asked what he is going to tell the seniors, like Northwestern bound Alviti, to help cope with the loss, a visibly emotional Inserra said: "They've had an unbelievable career. They've left their hearts on this field, they've done a lot for Maine South."
Glenbard North will continue on to play Loyola Academy in the Class 8A semi-finals next weekend.