St. Charles North ready from the early start vs. Glenbard North
Due to an ominous weather forecast, the starting time for Friday's football game between St. Charles North and Glenbard North was moved up a couple hours.
The North Stars (6-1, 5-0) were ready and willing.
Sam DeMarco's 55-yard touchdown run -- on the game's second play from scrimmage -- and the first of 3 touchdowns by versatile two-way senior Tyler Nubin propelled the North Stars to an early 14-0 lead that they never relinquished during a 38-14 DuKane Conference victory over the Panthers (0-7, 0-5) at Weber Field.
"It was a little different, but all we had to do was come out and respond to the change," Nubin said. "We take care of our business the same way. It doesn't matter what time it is."
The Panthers answered a few moments later with junior Kobie Jamison's electrifying 99-yard kick return for a touchdown to cut the deficit to 14-7 before St. Charles North added insurance TDs late in the first half and early in the second half.
Nubin took seven consecutive direct snaps and raced 7 yards through the middle of the Panthers' defense for a 21-7 lead with 54 seconds remaining in the first half.
After a three-and-out defensive series, junior quarterback Kyler Brown (7 of 12, 99 yards) connected with Nubin for a 58-yard TD pass on the North Stars' second offensive play of the third quarter to extend the margin to 28-7.
"Good teams do that," said North Stars coach Rob Pomazak, whose team secured its fifth straight playoff berth with the win. "It was really important for our defense to get a three-and-out coming into our first (offensive) series."
Despite losing Sam DeMarco (6 carries, 75 yards) to a leg injury late in the opening quarter, the North Stars received a huge boost from his younger brother, Nick, who capped the team's scoring with a 20-yard TD run midway through the fourth quarter.
Nick DeMarco finished as the game's leading rusher with 136 yards on 12 carries.
"You never want to lose your starting running back, but I think he'll be back," Pomazak said of Sam DeMarco. "Nick just took advantage of his turn. When your number is called, you have to be ready."
The North Stars' defense certainly was ready as well.
Anchored by linemen D.J. Oshin, Dami Oshin and Johnny Ambrogio, and linebackers Ben Furtney, Billy Durocher and Dan Daley, St. Charles North's starting defensive unit limited the Panthers to just 2 first downs and 17 rushing yards before being replaced with 8:46 remaining.
"I love the way they're playing right now because they're playing four quarters," Pomazak said. "They're physical."
"The coaches put us in a great position during the week," Nubin added. "The game plan is always solid. We just have to go out and execute."
Cordell Smiley (13 carries, 65 yards) added a 3-yard TD run in the final minute for the Panthers.
"The kick return gave us some life, but we just couldn't get anything going offensively," said Panthers coach Ryan Wilkens.
Luke Barresi booted a 43-yard third-quarter field goal for the North Stars, who now await next Friday's road clash with unbeaten Batavia (7-0, 5-0).
"It's going to be a good high school football game," Pomazak said.