Naperville North's ground game and defense propelled the Huskies back into the playoff hunt.
DeSean Brown had 2 touchdowns, and senior Sharad Crosby added two more as the Huskies rolled Glenbard East 40-14 in DuPage Valley Conference action Friday night.
"We're really starting to hit on all cylinders," Huskies coach Sean Drendel said. "Our goal every year is to be a playoff team. This group of kids has the idea that maybe they can do a little bit more than that."
The Huskies (4-3, 3-2) scored quickly to start the game. On fourth down and 2, Brown bowled through a crowd to gain 15 yards and a first down. Naperville North moved with precision, as Brown gained 25 yards down the sideline on the next play. Junior running back Leon Hardy finished the drive with a 4-yard run to give the Huskies a 7-0 lead.
After forcing a three-and-out, the Huskies marched down the field powered by the legs of Hardy and Brown. Hardy took a slew of tacklers with him as he powered 27 yards to the 11-yard line before Brown scored on the next play for a 14-0 lead.
Crosby was the third Naperville North running back to record a touchdown in the first half as he plunged into the end zone on a 4-yard run, giving the Huskies a 20-0 advantage with 10:07 left. It was Crosby again with 3:26 left in the half on a 3-yard touchdown run.
Naperville North's defense scored next using a punishing hit on Glenbard East running back Dominic Wilberton that jarred the ball loose. Naperville North's Colin Herbstritt scooped it up and ran in untouched for a Huskies touchdown and a 33-0 lead.
The Rams finally broke through with 25 seconds left in the first half, thanks to the strong arm of junior quarterback Drake Pusateri. Pusateri engineered a drive just less than three minutes that ended with a 10-yard pass to sophomore Joey Moore, cutting the deficit to 33-7 at the half.
"Their defense is fast," Rams coach John Walters said. "But I thought we came out and threw the ball really well tonight. They came out and were intent on taking Dominic away. That's good game planning on their part, and we knew we needed to throw to be successful."
The Rams (2-5, 1-4) scored first in the second half on a 15-yard pass from Pusateri to Moore, making it a 33-14 Naperville North lead. Brown answered quickly for Naperville North, notching his second touchdown of the game with a 3-yard run, giving the Huskies a 40-14 advantage.