DANVILLE — When push came to shove, it was the Normal West Wildcats that had a little more strength against the Danville High Vikings.
Normal West had a pair of scoring drives in the final 7 minutes, 14 seconds to rally from a 21-14 deficit to beat Danville 28-21 in a Big 12 Conference contest at Ned Whitesell Field.
“Every Monday, we have a conditioning practice where we have push through anything,’’ said Normal West senior lineman Kyrin Tucker. “That came into play tonight. I think we were in better condition than them and we just pushed through them on those final two drives.’’
The eight-rated Wildcats (4-0 overall and 4-0 in the Big 12) ran the ball 14 times on their final 15 plays, gaining 86 yards including a 19-yard touchdown run by Genia Fuss with just 26 seconds left to win the game.
“One of our strengths is up front and we are getting more and more confident in our running attack every game,’’ said Normal West coach Darren Hess, whose team ran for 285 yards on 46 attempts.
On that final drive, eight of the nine plays, were designed running plays behind Tucker, the 6-foot-8, 300-pound left tackle.
“I’m glad the coaches have confidence in me to get the job done in that situation,’’ he said. “All of our linemen did a great job on those drives and our backs ran hard. This was a really good win.’’
Danville senior lineman Tim Pittman admitted a big part of Friday’s game was decided in the trenches.
“At times, we came through, but when we really needed it, we didn’t get the job done,’’ said Pittman, who had to move from defensive tackle to defensive end because of an injury to junior Tyvon Cooper. “They took advantage of Tyvon being out of the game. I was in a position that I really didn’t know real well. They just rolled on that side,doubling me with the big kid and another kid.’’