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updated: 9/8/2012 12:16 AM

Glenbard North rolls past West Chicago

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By Paul Loth
Daily Herald Correspondent

Glenbard North quarterback Brian Murphy passed for 2 touchdowns and running back Justin Jackson ran for 2 more touchdowns and caught a third as Glenbard North defeated West Chicago Wildcats 48-6 Friday night in West Chicago in the beginning of DuPage Valley Conference action for both teams.

What was even more amazing was that Murphy and Jackson only played the first half.

Even West Chicago coach Bill Bicker was impressed.

"You give Jackson a crease of daylight and he's going to take advantage," Bicker said. "With a great back like Jackson, when it appears like you're stopping him, he's still getting 5 or 6 yards."

Jackson, though, still feels there is room for improvement.

"We were ready for everything, we just need to execute better," Jackson said. "They're going to key in on me, we're ready for that. Our run game is designed for anything defenses throw at us."

Running back Kendall Holbert took over for Jackson in the second half, running for 37 yards on 7 carries and scoring a touchdown of his own.

Glenbard North kickoff and punt returner Mario Rodriguez continually put the Panthers in excellent field position with his returns, running back the opening kickoff to the Wildcats 44-yard line. Two plays and one minute later, Jackson ran into the end zone for the first of his three touchdowns.

Six minutes later Rodriguez returned a punt 92 yards for Glenbard North's second touchdown, putting the Panthers ahead 14-0.

"They make plays," Bicker said. "They're a good football team, one of the best football teams in the state of Illinois," Bicker said. "We knew our game plan was good, but they were better. I take my hat off to them."

As impressive as the Panthers offense was, Glenbard North coach Ryan Wilkens chose to focus on his defense.

"Our defense played very well. Pursued the ball and played very good football tonight," Wilkens said.

In fact Glenbard North's Greg Traficanti's interception at the end of the first quarter set up the third touchdown for the Panthers (2-1, 1-0), another Jackson touchdown run, and Robert Collier's interception and 20-yard runback put the game away at the start of the second half, putting Glenbard North ahead 41-6.

"That interception was a good start for our second half," Wilkens said. "Once we got that touchdown by our defense, it wasn't worth risking injury to our starters."

The lone highlight of the game for West Chicago (0-3, 0-1) came with slightly more than four minutes left in the first half and the ball on their 10-yard line. Quarterback Jordan Lelito threw a long pass to tight end Billy Pearson. When the ball landed, it was in the hands of Pearson with nothing but daylight in front of him into the end zone.

"I'm proud of my kids because in three games they have not quit," Bicker said. "It did not turn out the way we wanted tonight, but that's going to happen."

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