Heavy underdog West Aurora hung around against DuPage Valley Conference powerhouse Glenbard North for one half Friday night on Weber Field in Carol Stream, trailing 14-0 after 24 minutes.
But in the second half Glenbard North exerted its dominance, running off 20 unanswered points before settling for a 34-13 victory.
"We were very disappointed in how we played in the first half," said Glenbard North running back Justin Jackson, who rushed for 211 yards on 19 carries and scored 4 touchdowns. "I don't know if people were underestimating (West Aurora), but you can't do that in our conference.
"The touchdown (to start the second half) was big, just to set the tone. I wasn't pleased with how we played the entire game, but we did play better in the second half."
Glenbard North (5-1, 4-0) scored two touchdowns in the first quarter, on runs of 4 and 3 yards by the Northwestern-bound Jackson.
West Aurora (1-5, 0-4) did not pass midfield until Glenbard North's Sam Kriese fumbled a punt with 2:38 left in the second quarter.
But the Blackhawks' Sam Perez had his 33-yard field goal blocked by Glenbard North's Joe Fierro.
On the first play of the second half, Jackson took off on a 67-yard touchdown run to give the Panthers a 20-0 lead after the extra point was no good. Jackson added a 35-yard touchdown on the Panthers' next possession, and after Steven Adamatis returned a Quintez Jones fumble 17 yards for a touchdown, the Panthers led 34-0.
"They had nothing to lose," Jackson said. "They were sending safeties and two people through one gap. It is hard to play against teams like that, but if you catch them in bad situations, you can break off big runs, and we were able to do that a few times."
West Aurora got on the board early in fourth quarter on a 1-yard sneak by Jones, cutting the lead to 34-7. They scored again when Drake Spears picked off Glenbard North quarterback Brett Gasiorowski and returned it 28 yards for a touchdown. The point after was no good.
"I am so proud of our kids going up against a powerhouse like Glenbard North and putting forth a great effort," said Blackhawks coach Nate Eimer.
"Our effort all game was pretty good. We were close to having our third running clock put on us, and our kids fought back and had a heck of a drive. That is a big deal for where we are at right now."
Jones was 9 of 21 for 109 yards for West Aurora. Isiah Ruffin carried 11 times for 27 yards and Dantrel Gillespie 10 times for 22 yards.