St. Charles North eases past Schaumburg
St. Charles North's football team kicked off its 2018 season on a positive note with Friday night's 23-16 nonconference victory over Schaumburg in St. Charles.
Senior quarterback Peyton Brown completed 9 of 18 passes for 145 yards and 3 touchdowns for the North Stars (1-0), including a pair of scoring strikes to senior wide receiver Alec Kritta (4 catches, 69 yards).
However, the news wasn't all encouraging for the North Stars, who lost their starting quarterback to an apparent left knee injury late in the third quarter.
"It's unfortunate but that's how it goes," said North Stars coach Rob Pomazak. "Hopefully, everything is OK with him."
Brown, who earned the starting quarterback job after recovering from shoulder (labrum) surgery a year ago, completed his first 4 passes, highlighted by a 51-yard touchdown toss to senior Tyler Nubin (5 catches, 67 yards) that gave the North Stars a 7-0 lead just 56 seconds into the contest.
Schaumburg (0-1) retaliated quickly, as versatile senior Heze Trotter capped an 8-play, 59-yard drive with a 3-yard TD run. But a low snap resulted in a failed conversion attempt as the Saxons trailed 7-6 with 7:22 left in the opening quarter.
Midway through the second quarter, another poor snap sailed over the head of punter Trotter and through the back of the end zone -- resulting in a safety and a 9-6 North Stars' lead.
After a strip-sack fumble recovery by Johnny Ambrogio, the North Stars upped their lead to 16-6 on Brown's 22-yard TD pass to Kritta.
The Brown-to-Kritta combination struck again late in the third quarter, as the latter reeled in a 13-yard TD pass to increase the North Stars' lead to 23-6.
"Alec had a great game," said Pomazak. "He's always going to make some plays for us. He's just a tremendous athlete."
As for Brown's injury, Pomazak is taking a wait-and-see approach.
"He's pretty broken up about it but we'll see," said the coach. "Hopefully it's not too serious."
Schaumburg staged a late rally, as quarterback Marcus Ross connected with Shamaree Brown (6 catches, 90 yards) for a 12-yard touchdown pass to make it 23-13 with 5:01 remaining.
Jonathan Mueller's 32-yard field goal cut the deficit to 23-16 with 2 seconds left before the North Stars' Sam DeMarco pounded on the ensuing onside kick to end the game.
"It wasn't our best opening day," said Pomazak.
"I thought our kids showed an incredible amount of guts but I just thought we had too many execution errors," said Saxons coach Mark Stilling.
"I thought our kids fought their tails off but we didn't execute when we needed to."