Midway through the second quarter of Friday's Region 1-1A championship game between Northview and Freeport, excitement turned to concern among the capacity crowd on the home side in Bratt.
But on the sidelines, the Chiefs remained calm and confident.
And as quickly as the visiting Bulldogs jumped out to a 14-0 lead, Northview evened it back up with a 40-yard punt return for a touchdown by Neino Robinson.
Once it got back to even, it was seemingly only a matter of time before the Chiefs would flex their muscle.
As it turns out, that didn't happen until overtime, when the Northview defense stopped Freeport on its possession, then got a 1-yard run by LaMikal Kyles to extend the Chiefs' state semifinal streak to three consecutive seasons.
"It could have been a little bit of jitters early in the game," Northview coach Sid Wheatley said. "I know I was a little apprehensive about it; it's always the case when you play a team twice. I don't know if our kids were like that, but we seemed a little tentative on both sides of the ball.
"But we kept competing and I think that was the key, we kept playing hard and believing more than anything."
To say it was a completely different game in the rematch is an understatement.
In the regular-season game for the District 1-1A championship, the Chiefs dominated for a 42-0 win.
This time around, the Bulldogs refused to go down without a fight.
Freeport came out on its opening possession and drove the length of the field to take a 7-0 lead.
Then, after Northview fumbled in its own territory, the Bulldogs took a 14-0 lead.
"Our guys played their hearts out," Freeport coach Jim Anderson said. "I'm really proud of them. We just didn't quite finish it. Northview's got a great team.
"I couldn't be prouder of them. I tell them every time, I don't care who's out there, it could be the Green Bay Packers, I'll take our guys any day over anybody."
Friday night, the Bulldogs were just an eyelash away from pulling off the biggest upset in the state.
But Northview found a way to make plays when not everything was going its way.
The Chiefs had five turnovers, including four fumbles. Three of those came on their first four possessions.
Northview also had a muffed punt and a punt that actually went backwards when the wind and a bad bounce resulted in minus-9 yards.
"We just made too many mistakes," said Kyles, who ran for 122 yards and two touchdowns. "We had too many fumbles in the first quarter. We just made a lot of mistakes.
"We knew in the second half it was 0-0. We knew we had to come out and take the lead."
That came late in the third quarter when Kyles hauled in an 8-yard touchdown pass from Kevin Vaughan to give the Chiefs their first lead of the game.
But Northview couldn't fully escape Northview until overtime.
And it wasn't until the Bulldogs had a holding penalty on the first play of overtime that the Chiefs could breath a sigh of relief.
"I felt pretty good (after that)," Wheatley said. "It really changed the whole complexity of that series for them.
"You go from first-and-goal at the 10 to first-and-goal at the 24, you're looking at maybe having to throw the football instead of running it. It was a big play for us."