Ben Stone, admittedly, was nervous stepping up to the penalty spot Tuesday.
The Dundee-Crown senior calmed down and placed the penalty kick into the side netting with 22:07 remaining to give the Chargers a 2-1 victory over Fox Valley Conference Valley Division foe Huntley in Carpentersville.
"Everyone behind was yelling, 'He's nervous. He's nervous.' I was nervous to tell you the truth," Stone said.
The match was tied 1-1 and the Chargers had a corner kick. On the corner, the assistant referee signaled for a foul on Huntley in the penalty area and a corner kick. After a brief conversation, the head referee -- who did not call a foul on the play -- went with the assistant referee's decision and signaled for a penalty kick.
"I have to watch the video. He said our guy pulled their guy down in the box," Red Raiders coach Kris Grabner said. "I never saw the guy go down. I never saw him change his body shape or body position. I saw our guy reach between his legs and tap the ball away. (The assistant referee) swears that our guy pulled him to the ground. I'll watch the video and make an assessment of that. Ultimately that's the final goal of the game. That's a shame. I'm hoping that the ref saw it the way he called it."
The penalty was one of two critical calls that did not go the Red Raiders' way. With 1:55 remaining, Huntley thought it had tied the match at 2-2 when Christian Ramos scored on a free kick. But the other assistant referee raised his flag to signal offsides. The head referee again had a conversation with the assistant referee and went with the assistant's call.
The victory keeps D-C (16-0-1, 4-0) undefeated and alone atop the FVC Valley, a game ahead of the Red Raiders (16-2-1, 3-1). D-C is seeking just the second conference title in program history and first since 2005. The Chargers have another tough test Thursday at Cary-Grove, then they close out the Valley season at home Oct. 15 against District 300 rival Jacobs.
"That's huge," D-C coach Rey Vargas said of Tuesday's victory. "It was one of those games that we knew was going to be tight. We didn't know how many chances we were going to be getting. We had to make the best out of it."
Huntley took the lead with 21:50 remaining in the first half when Eduardo Gonzalez ran onto a long cross from Manuel Menjivar and beat Chargers' goalkeeper Jose Gonzalez.
The Chargers answered 4 ½ minutes later. Stone flicked a Francisco Nava free kick to Carlos Ramos, who scored to tie the match at 1-1.
The match featured two red cards given to Huntley players, but the Red Raiders never had to play with just 10 players. One was right after the first-half horn so it was not considered during play. The second was given after the match was over. Huntley players received three yellow cards. Grabner also was shown a yellow card. The Chargers received three yellows as well.
Dundee-Crown controlled play in the midfield, which usually is a strength of Huntley. The Red Raiders had two starting midfielders miss a significant amount of time during the match because of injury.
But Grabner wasn't making excuses.
"What it boiled down to was they took us out of our game," Grabner said. "The way they played took us out of our style of play. I have to give Dundee-Crown the credit for that."