Glenbard North senior Vittorio Tricase saw an opportunity for a special night on Friday, so he knew he just had to run with it, over and over again.
Points and big plays were flying all over the field Friday night at Wheaton Warrenville South, but Tricase stole the brightest spotlight by tallying a personal-best 6 touchdowns as the Panthers knocked off the Tigers 47-31.
Tricase's first score was a 4-yard run just four minutes into the game, and the Panthers running back added TD runs of 8, 60, 12 and 18 as Glenbard North built a 41-17 lead at the half. The 5-foot-7, bulldozer of a back added a 1-yard run in the third quarter to finish the night with 179 yards and six trips to the end zone on 24 carries.
"It is special. The line played exceptionally well tonight," said Tricase, who now has 13 scores in just three games. "There were times where I was literally walking into the end zone. That was not be doing my part. It was them doing theirs."
The first score came from the 4-yard line and the last one from the 1-yard line, but in between he broke off nifty 12- and 18-yard scores that showcased both his speed and his power. His 60-yard sprint late in the first quarter quickly answered WW South's 54-yard touchdown pass from Matt Dohse to Cam Moore that had closed the gap to 14-7.
"I just want to come out and play," said Tricase, whose gaudy stats this season are right up there with any of the great backs that have come through the Glenbard North program. "If I can have a game like this all the time I will. It's going to be a week by week thing. Nights like these you've just got to take the opportunity and run with it."
The Panthers had a comfortable lead at the half, but that was a good thing as the host Tigers and Moore kept battling back. After hauling in the long TD pass in the first quarter, Moore threw a perfect strike on a double-pass 72-yard scoring pass to Ryan Young in the second quarter and then added a 71-yard TD catch in the fourth quarter to finish with three catches for 165 yards.
"It was really tough to stop them," Moore said of the Panthers' attack. "We've got to get the job done next time."
The senior wide out was able to hold his head high, however, after his team's offense did some nice things on Friday, including the big strike he threw across to the field to Young.
"We practice the double pass and sophomore year I was at Wheaton North and played a little QB," Moore said. "I've always been able to throw the ball long so it was an easy play to me. It was awesome to see the crowd (go wild)."
But in the end it was just too much Tricase, who impressed Tigers coach Ron Muhitch with both his power and his moves.
"Their line play is outstanding and they punish you," the coach said after his team fell to 0-3. "And as hard as he is as a runner, he's as good an athlete as well. He makes you miss. He's a really, really special talent."