St. Charles North stops WW South
A loss for words is understandable in uncharted territory.
St. Charles North became the first team in the city's prep football history to advance to the state semifinals with Saturday's 21-10 victory at Wheaton Warrenville South.
The North Stars, who lost 13-11 to WW South in DuKane Conference play in the regular-season finale, will play Mt. Carmel with a trip to the Class 7A title game hanging in the balance.
"It's just a dream come true," said North Stars junior Kyler Brown, who continues to play quarterback for injured older brother Peyton. "I didn't expect this to happen, and you know who I'm doing this for. I can't really explain my feelings right now."
The 22nd-seeded North Stars (9-3) led for good after a pair of first-half touchdowns gave them a 14-7 halftime advantage. Brown threw a 36-yard first-quarter touchdown pass to Tyler Nubin to knot the game 7-7, and then Nick DeMarco burst into the end zone from 33 yards out in the second quarter.
DeMarco rushed for 138 yards on 31 carries while Minnesota-bound Nubin had 4 catches for 96 yards and rushed for 77 yards out of the Wildcat.
"Unbelievable feeling," Nubin said. "We've been talking about getting in that elite category in the state all year, and we did that today. We made the history books."
Fourteenth-seeded WW South (10-2) opened the scoring with a 3-yard first-quarter touchdown run by Jake Arthurs. The Tigers narrowed the gap to 14-10 late in the third quarter on a 47-yard field goal by Jack Olsen, his 22nd of the season.
The backbreaking play came early in the fourth quarter when, on fourth-and-2, Brown found Nubin again for a 31-yard touchdown pass that boosted the lead to 21-10.
"We knew they were going to battle all the way through," said Arthurs, who rushed for 36 yards. "I'm proud of our seniors and our team. We wanted to bring the tradition back. Obviously not the result we wanted, but 10-2 this year is something to build on."
St. Charles North's defense allowed only 150 total yards. Tigers quarterback Noah Henkel threw for 90 yards while Brown threw for 134.
"The goal of our program is to give kids experiences they'll never forget," said North Stars coach Rob Pomazak. "I certainly think these young men have earned it."
WW South -- after three straight 2-7 seasons -- returned to the playoffs for the first time since 2014. Saturday's loss broke a six-game winning streak.
"I love this senior class," said Tigers coach Ron Muhitch. "Our kids compete. We're not the biggest group of athletes on the field, but they play with great hearts and great championship spirit."
Follow Kevin on Twitter