Naperville North put its quick-strike offensive attack on display Friday night.
Trailing 14-10 after West Aurora quarterback Quintez Jones' 3-yard touchdown run with 28.4 seconds remaining in the first half, it appeared that the Huskies (5-2, 4-2) would be trailing at halftime.
Less than 24 seconds later, it was the Huskies who grabbed a 17-14 halftime advantage. Quarterback Connor Johannes hit DeSean Brown with a 60-yard toss on a first-down play to help set up Brown's 9-yard TD reception from Johannes with 4.8 seconds left in the second quarter.
From there Naperville North exploded for 35 second-half points on the way to a convincing 52-30 DuPage Valley Conference football triumph over West Aurora (1-7, 0-6) on senior night in Aurora.
"DeSean Brown is a special player," Huskies coach Sean Drendel said of the senior tailback/receiver, who accounted for 212 yards of total offense, including 119 rushing yards on 12 carries. "And our blocking on the edge was outstanding. We had a chance to get it down to get some points and we were going to give it one shot."
Needing a win to become playoff eligible, the Huskies came out smoking with 21 third-quarter points to build a 38-27 lead.
Sharad Crosby began the second-half scoring with a 2-yard TD run and Johannes added a 62-yard TD jaunt before Leon Hardy's 5-yard TD run accounted for 21 points in 6˝ minutes.
"We realized at halftime that we needed to step it up," said Johannes, who completed 5 of 13 passes for 110 yards and gained 123 rushing yards on 9 carries. "We didn't come out too strong in the beginning. In the second half, we came out to play."
Hardy's second TD run of the game from 2 yards out with 5:18 remaining gave the Huskies a 45-30 lead, and defensive back Ryan Carlson's 63-yard interception return for a TD with 4:06 left helped seal the victory for the visitors.
"Offensively, we can score some points at times," said Drendel, whose team will face cross-town rival Naperville Central next weekend at North Central College. "We were good enough tonight."
Playing their final DVC home game before joining the Upstate Eight Conference next season, the Blackhawks showed some resolve.
West Aurora, which took a 7-3 lead on a 9-yard TD run by sophomore Drake Spears on the opening play of the second quarter, trimmed a 38-21 deficit to 38-30 thanks to Jones' 1-yard TD keeper and a 26-yard field goal from Sam Perez with 9:29 remaining.
"We knew they were a good offensive team but I thought our kids fought," said Blackhawks coach Nate Eimer. "It was 38-30 with a chance to win the game, but we just couldn't get a stop.
"I'm very proud of these kids though," Eimer added. "We've come a long way from getting zero (points) in Week 3 against Glenbard East to coming out here and scoring 30 against a very good Naperville North team."