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Playing without the services of its starting quarterback and leading scoring tailback, St. Charles North's football team put its depth on display Friday night against Streamwood.
Junior quarterback Nathan Didier threw a pair of touchdown passes and ran for another in his first varsity start, while junior tailback Nicholas Edlund and sophomore call-up Dom Sidari both topped the 100-yard mark during the North Stars' 55-6 Upstate Eight Conference River Division victory over the Sabres (0-6, 0-3) in St. Charles.
Edlund (15 carries, 122 yards) capped a 10-play, 95-yard opening drive with a 3-yard touchdown run as the North Stars grabbed a 7-0 lead.
Senior linebacker Reece Conroyd stripped the ball from quarterback Mason Polich on the Sabres' first offensive play from scrimmage and junior linebacker Jordan Bergren recovered the fumble just inside the red zone.
On the next play, Didier looked off his primary target and tossed a 19-yard TD pass to Dylan Hunter as the North Stars scored 2 touchdowns within a 21-second span to take a 14-0 lead.
"We came out strong," said Didier. "That has been our weakness in a couple games."
Streamwood pulled within 14-6 on Travious Brown's 1-yard touchdown run just before the end of the first quarter.
From then on, it was all North Stars.
Didier, who completed his first 5 passes, connected with senior tight end Garrett Johnson for a 23-yard TD pass on the North Stars' next series to extend their lead to 21-6.
"I did have some nerves but I was excited, too," said Didier, who added a 22-yard touchdown run in the third quarter. "I was waiting on the sideline thinking that it's my turn and I've got to make the most of it."
Sidari, who gained 99 of his game-high 126 yards (10 carries) in the first half, scored his first varsity touchdown on a 3-yard run with 1:07 left before halftime.
"Dom has been doing a great job on the sophomore level — our sophomores are undefeated," said North Stars coach Rob Pomazak, whose team was without senior quarterback Erik Miller and tailback Evan Kurtz. "He's strong, he's physical, he's fast and he's a football player."
Ten seconds after Sidari's TD, the North Stars (3-3, 2-2) struck again as Bergren deflected a pass from Polich and Carson Schmitt caught the ball and returned the interception 43 yards for a score to make it 35-6 at halftime.
"We talk about winning the turnover battle by three every week," said Pomazak, whose team won the battle, 5-2. "We're working on getting them to buy into that philosophy."
Junior defensive back Tyler Bell capped the scoring with a 60-yard interception return midway through the fourth quarter.
"We practice on creating turnovers," said Bell. "The ball was deflected by our linebacker (Cameron Mackenzie) and I just made a play and took off."
"I feel like our defense has played well all year with the exception of the first half against Geneva," said Pomazak. "We tried to wash that away and hit the reset button."
Streamwood coach Mark Orszula continues to try and find that reset button for his own squad.
"We've got to find a way to eliminate the mistakes that we've had," said Orszula. "We're not a good enough football team right now to recover from those turnovers."