After losing by one point in overtime a week ago, St. Charles North head coach Rob Pomazak promised to work hard in practice at correcting the mistakes that led to the loss.
A week later, and the North Stars proved that practice does indeed make perfect, defeating Plainfield Central 49-0 in St. Charles for Pomazak's first win as the new St. Charles North coach.
Senior running back Evan Kurtz paved the way for St. Charles North (1-1), racking up 246 yards on 18 carries and scoring four touchdowns. After the game, Kurtz deferred quickly to discussing his teammates' effort over his personal accomplishments.
"We came off a hard loss last week and we had two ways to go," Kurtz said. "We could have given up or we could have kept going, and we just kept going. It was an entire team effort tonight. After the first quarter, the line really started to open some holes for me, and the defense really stepped up and did their part, as well."
Pomazak once again credited the effort Kurtz puts in during practice for his success.
"In my opinion, Evan (Kurtz) is a hidden gem," Pomazak said. "We knew he was a special back with a great combination of size and speed, and I think this is just who Evan Kurtz is. We're really proud of him and he should be proud of himself. Nobody works harder than him in the weight room, on the football field, or in practice. What you see out here is what he does four days a week for us every single day."
"We practice hard Monday through Thursday every week, and we really try to bring it to practice every day," Kurtz said. "We want to practice the way we're going to play on Friday nights. I want to give my all in practice and give my team my all. The whole team is working to make everyone better."
Kurtz solo effort stood out on offense, but it was a team effort on defense that held the Wildcats to 113 total yards. Senior Mitchell Riggs intercepted a pass midway through the third quarter and returned it 64 yards.
The North Stars struck first just 1 minute and 33 seconds into the game, blocking a punt that junior Carson Schmitt recovered in the end zone to put them up 7-0.
The game remained scoreless; however, for the remainder of the first quarter and midway into the second quarter until Kurtz scored the first of his four touchdowns on a 37-yard run to put the North Stars up 14-0.
Four minutes later, Kurtz struck again from 4 yards out to give St. Charles North a 21-0 lead, and with 54.2 seconds left in the half, Kurtz hit the trifecta from three yards out for a 28-0 halftime lead.
On the North Stars first possession of the second half, Kurtz scored from 54 yards out and gave way to junior Nicholas Edlund. Edlund proved to be nearly equally as effective, rushing for 83 yards on six carries and scoring a touchdown of his own from 22 yards out as the third quarter came to an end.
St. Charles North scored its final touchdown on Plainfield Central (0-2, 0-1) with just over three minutes to play on a 5-yard run by sophomore John Legare.
Pomazak also credited the effort put into practice by the defensive unit.
"We went back and watched that film (Elk Grove game) as much as we could, and we felt like this film was going to be a learning curve for us," Pomazak said. "We were going to make our weaknesses our strengths, and we spent some time teaching it again for the kids in the classroom and walking through it. In the end, it was all the attention to detail and I think it paid off for us. Every week we set out to be the best defense in the conference (Upstate Eight River), and this is a good step towards that. This was a good game for us. We thought we improved our tackling this game, and the kids really executed the game plan, so we really feel good about that."