Naperville North getting in winning habit again

By Scott Schmid
Daily Herald Correspondent
Updated 9/10/2016 12:07 AM

Though only a third of the 2016 football season is complete, it might be safe to say that Naperville North is back.

Coming off back-to-back 2-7 campaigns, the Huskies eclipsed that win total on Friday night with a dominating 33-7 road win over Wheaton North. It also was the team's first victory over the Falcons in the past seven tries.

"Coach told us to get off the 2-7 path and this is a great start," said senior defensive lineman Malik Wells, who posted 3 sacks.

It was a complete effort for the Huskies (3-0), who excelled in all three phases of the game.

The defense held the Falcons (2-1) to 54 yards in the first half as Naperville North built a 23-0 advantage.

Running back Eric Wright led the offense, totaling 118 yards and 2 touchdowns on just 16 carries. Quarterback Luke Cegles was nearly perfect, completing 16 of 22 passes for 192 yards and 2 TDs, connecting with Nick Calcagno and Mitch Lewis for scores.

"We focused this week on making sure that everybody did their responsibility," Wright said. "We all stuck together as a unit."

And the special teams unit put on a dazzling display, with Matt Malan making 44- and 30-yard field goals and Brett Zdrubecky blocking a punt and then recovering it.

"Anytime you can go on the road and play well in the DVC, it's a great feeling," Naperville North coach Sean Drendel said. "We had something to prove today and I think we made a pretty good statement. We did a lot of good things and that's a credit to the seniors and not just the starters. Those 45 guys (the seniors) work their tails off.

"I haven't done this (starting off 3-0) as a head coach. It puts us in a good position, not a great position. I'm excited with where we are at and excited to go play Lake Park next week."

Wheaton North got on the scoreboard with a 1-yard run by Luke Anthony in the third quarter. Aside from the loss, the Falcons also suffered a handful of injuries.

"They looked good on tape," Wheaton North coach Joe Wardynski said. "They did good things against Sandburg and Metea and I was very impressed with what Naperville North did tonight. They outschemed us, their coaches did a great job. We didn't have our guys ready to go and that was disappointing."

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