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Three hours and 99 points after the opening kickoff Friday night, Warren emerged with its fifth victory of the season and a probable playoff berth. The host Blue Devils (5-2) ran past North Chicago (3-4) by a 61-38 score in a North Suburban Conference crossover game.
Warren quarterback Andrew Nickell threw 4 touchdown passes in this wild affair, including three to junior tight end Caleb Reams, while running back Max Sorby rushed for 230 of his 295 yards in the first half and scored 2 TDs to pace the Blue Devils.
"I knew that both teams had the potential to score a lot of points, but I didn't think there would be this many points," said Warren coach Dave Mohapp. "North Chicago came in with a good game plan and played a good game and put some pressure on us.
"At times we executed very well and the offensive line played very well. We knew we had to control the ball and we did a pretty good job of that. But we need to be more consistent," he added, referring to his team's four turnovers.
Wearing his gold shoes that he calls his "lightning bolts," Sorby was hitting maximum speed before he even reached the line of scrimmage.
"I worked very hard during the off-season with my footwork and my speed," Sorby said. "But I have to give all the credit to the offensive line. If it weren't for them, this wouldn't have happened tonight."
Quarterback Arnold Shead was brilliant for the Warhawks, scoring touchdowns on runs of 54, 61, 14 and 15 yards, and throwing a 55-yard TD pass to junior running back Jamero Shelton.
Both teams turned the ball over on their first possessions, with defensive lineman Joseph Thomas intercepting a pass for North Chicago and defensive back Nick Kokotas recovering a fumble for Warren at the Warhawks' 25-yard line. Six plays later, running back Cedric Sanders gave the Blue Devils the lead with a 1-yard run and Griffin Rosuck kicked his first of 7 extra points.
North Chicago followed Warren's second turnover midway through the first quarter with a game-tying touchdown on Shead's 54-yard scamper. On the visitors' next possession, Shead outdid himself with a 61-yard TD run for a 14-7 lead. But Warren tied it at 14-14 late in the first quarter on a 50-yard scoring pass from Nickell (183 passing yards) to Reams.
The Blue Devils took the lead for good early in the second quarter when Nickell found wide receiver Javon Charleston open for a 29-yard TD aerial. On Warren's next possession, the Warhawks pulled to within a point at 21-20 when free safety Donte Rowell scooped up a fumble and raced 56 yards to the end zone.
But the Blue Devils increased their advantage to 34-20 at intermission on a 34-yard run by Sorby and a two-yard TD toss from Nickell to Reams, who did a remarkable job of hanging onto the ball with a pair of defenders in his face.
Warren scored the only touchdown of the third quarter — a 25-yard interception return by linebacker Ravon Spruill for a 40-20 lead — but both teams picked up in the fourth quarter where they'd left off in the first half.
A 14-yard scramble for a score by Shead (226 yards rushing) was countered by a five-yard TD run by Warren's Sorby. Shead (129 yards passing) then connected with Shelton for a 55-yard TD pass before Nickell hooked up with Reams (95 receiving yards) for a 43-yard tally and a 54-32 lead.
Warren increased its advantage to 61-32 on an 11-yard run by junior Cole Iwema before Shead concluded the night's scoring with a 15-yard run.