Even workhorses need a break.
Only 3 of Barrington senior Chase Murdock's 35 carries in Friday's 28-19 win at Hersey came in the second quarter. He had a 3-yard touchdown run 9:26 before halftime, a 3-yard run to set up a touchdown and a 27-yard run with 20 seconds left in the half.
The rest didn't hurt as Murdock gained 169 of his 248 yards after intermission. A week earlier he had only 3 carrries against Elk Grove because of a right hamstring injury.
Barrington also got a combined 73 yards rushing from junior Justin Dragosz and senior Austin Schmidt on Friday.
"All three backs did extremely well," said Barrington coach Joe Sanchez. "We have multiple guys who can do multiple things and that's what we'll ultimately need."
Sanchez said it wasn't just a chance to give Murdock a rest but also to reward Dragosz and Schmidt for their work in practice.
Murdock hurt his hamstring in practice before the Elk Grove game. He rehabbed the injury all week before Hersey and practiced Wednesday and Thursday.
"It was a last-minute decision," Murdock said of playing. "Originally I wasn't going to start but I told coach I was feeling good and ready to go. I know it's still there and I'm still working to get back to 100 percent."
Hat tipping: In the delirium in the wake of Brad Walovitch's 51-yard field goal with 6.1 seconds left that lifted Crystal Lake South to a 10-7 victory at Cary-Grove Friday, CL South coach Chuck Ahsmann was asked if the Trojans had been given too much credit for their win over state-ranked Lake Zurich the previous week.
His response revealed the underlying respect the Gators hold for their Fox Valley Conference rivals.
"We know they are very well-coached, they are good kids, their fans are outstanding," Ahsmann said. "We have the utmost respect for their program, and we knew it would be a dogfight no matter who they played or what their record is. We were happy to escape with a win today.
"That's a heck of a program over there and over the last 10 years they've just beaten the heck out of us. To get them two times in a row is unbelievable."
The win marked CL South's first back-to-back victories over Cary-Grove since the Gators prevailed in regular-season meetings in 2000 and 2001.
Spreading the wealth: Typically, offenses in football come together later than defenses.
Make that double for an offense that is experiencing a radical change.
The Warren offense over the first two weeks of the season, for instance, scored just 19 total points in a pair of losses. But the Blue Devils weren't in panic mode.
Not only are they fighting the normal lags in offensive chemistry, they're also fighting a steep learning curve. Warren put in a brand new offense during the off-season.
Warren has been a power I-formation running team since head coach Dave Mohapp took over 15 years ago. Now, the Blue Devils are running the spread to better take advantage of their personnel.
They're still putting the pieces together, and that was evident again on Friday in a 33-14 loss at Lake Zurich. But there were definite signs that they are moving in the right direction.
"Once we start clicking, there will be no stopping us," Warren receiver Mitch Munda said. "We've just got to practice harder. Our practices have been kind of slow because we've been learning a lot of stuff. We're getting there, though."
The Blue Devils scored touchdowns on two of their first three possessions. On Warren's very first play of the game, quarterback Adam Reuss hit Munda for a 23-yard touchdown.
With 3:22 left in the first quarter, Davonte Willcox busted off a 74-yard touchdown run that gave Warren a 14-3 lead.
"One of the things you hope for with a spread offense is to get some big plays out of it," Mohapp said. "That was a positive for us. We just had some mistakes."
Wheaton North steps up: Even though Friday's game between Naperville North and host Wheaton North was merely the opener of the DuPage Valley Conference season, both sides saw the showdown as critical going forward.
With Wheaton North's 24-13 victory, the Falcons (2-1, 1-0) feel much better having survived the first test in what they hope will be a run at their first DVC title since 2002.
"The difference between 2-1 and 1-2 is huge," said Wheaton North senior linebacker Mike Swider. "That was a big win for our team. Both sides of the ball stepped up."
• Daily Herald sports writers Marty Maciaszek, Jerry Fitzpatrick, Patricia Babcock McGraw and Kevin Schmit compiled this report.