Hersey's new head coach used his previous experience to in picking up his first career win on Friday night in a nonconference football season opener against Glenbrook North.
Joe Pardun was the defensive coordinator for the Huskies prior to becoming the head coach this season, and his defense held the visiting Spartans scoreless for a 16-0 win.
"It was special," a smiling Pardun said after the game. "I was really proud of the way our kids battled through. We weren't too happy with our first half, obviously, but the way they came out in the second half showed us a lot about this team's identity. So we were excited about that."
Hersey (1-0) turned the ball over three times in the first half, and did not score a point. The defense led by Josh Mailloux, Cole Monckton, Will Trossen, Tucker Fenwick and Vlad Pavlenko held strong, though.
"Everyone on the team did their part," Monckton, who had an interception on defense and a touchdown reception from quarterback Eric Portenlanger on offense, said. "They all read their keys, did their specific assignments and played together."
The Huskies held Glenbrook North (0-1) to 116 yards of offense for the game. As impressive as that number is, the statistics for the second half were even better for the Hersey defense. The Spartans were limited to 16 yards and 1 first down in the second half. Nearly all of that offense came on a 13-yard scramble by Glenbrook North quarterback Nick Karis on the Spartans' final possession.
"I thought we really kind of found ourselves in the second half," Pardun said. "That's what we were looking for."
Mailloux said he thought it came down to the hard work Hersey put in during the offseason.
"I think we out-conditioned them," Mailloux said. "Our coach has been pushing us, and pushing us this summer. We've always been running and doing whatever it takes to get better. I think we just out-worked them in the off-season and the preseason."
On offense, Hersey employed a two-quarterback attack. Joe Caputo started the game and rushed for 55 yards and a touchdown on 13 carries. He also had 38 passing yards. Portenlanger spelled Caputo for a few series in the game, and threw for 69 yards on 6-of-10 passing in the process.
"Those two guys have been working together all summer," Pardun said of Caputo and Portenlanger. "They have a very healthy competition, but they work together to make each other better. That was part of the plan coming in. We wanted to see both of those guys control the offense, and they did an excellent job of that tonight."
While the Hersey offense sputtered in the first half, it found a rhythm in the third quarter by scoring touchdowns on both of its possessions, something the team expects to build on next week.
"I hope next week that we're going to get 16 points in the first quarter," Mailloux said.
Glenbrook North coach Bob Pieper said his team was not disciplined enough in Friday's game.
"Too many mistakes," Pieper said. "If we're going to run this offense, we need to get first downs and keep our defense off the field."