Waubonsie Valley holds off Naperville North
Waubonsie Valley coach Paul Murphy warned his unbeaten Warriors that Naperville North tends to surprise teams with how well they play in the second half of games.
His team still had to survive a big scare before eventually holding off the Huskies 31-24 in Friday night's DuPage Valley Conference football game in Aurora.
The Warriors stormed ahead of the Huskies 21-0 in the second quarter on the strength of a solid run game and a hard-hitting defense before Naperville North (1-4, 0-1) got on the board just before the half on a 39-yard touchdown pass from Cliff Vickers to Bo Richter. The Warriors continued to hit hard and run the ball hard in the second half. But the Huskies just kept battling and actually had the ball in the final minute needing a TD to draw even but just couldn't quite pull off the big comeback.
"We played great in the first half on both sides of the ball but not so great in the second half," Murphy said. "We'll have to learn from that, but it's better to learn after a win than versus a loss. Every DVC game is a war and I told my kids that Naperville North has been playing great in the second half every week."
Fortunately for the Warriors their double-barreled ground game played great. While speedster Bryce Logan continued to lead the way with 169 yards on the ground, fullback Dre'Von Turner stepped into the spotlight with 108 yards of his own and 3 touchdown runs.
"Dre'Von stepped up big tonight as a running back and as a leader," Logan said. "I don't care who is scoring the touchdowns for us as long as I look up and see those points on the scoreboard for us. It feels really good to be 5-0 heading into the Neuqua game next week and being closer (to the playoffs)."
After a slow start on offense, the Huskies and quarterback Vickers just kept battling. The Naperville North signalcaller was sacked six times and hit hard on several other occasions but still passed for 314 yards and three scores, including two to Richter.
After closing to within 31-24 on a 4-yard touchdown pass to Matt Maschmeier with 1:59 left to play, the Huskies defense forced a punt and Vickers nearly connected with Richter for a third score in the waning seconds, but the Warriors defense hung on. Brando Guido sealed the win with his second interception of the night.
"We fought and scratched and crawled our way back," Huskies coach Sean Drendel said. "I'm super proud of our guys' effort in the second half. We didn't play very well in the second half but we hung in there. We just ran out of time at the end."