Glenbard North tops St. Charles East to snap skid
St. Charles East could muster no late-game heroics this time. Glenbard North broke open a scoreless game with 3 second-half touchdowns, then staved off a Saints rally for a 21-7 win in the DuKane Conference opener for both teams.
Jordan McQuarter broke the scoreless tie with a 17-yard run in the third quarter, and Cordell Smiley added a pair of fourth-quarter scores for the Panthers in Carol Stream.
Glenbard North (1-2, 1-0) snapped a 12-game losing streak dating to the 2017 playoffs.
The Panthers led 21-0 after Smiley scored on a 62-yard run. But the Saints weren't through, yet. They answered with a 74-yard drive capped by Colton Conn's 2-yard run with 4:16 left. Two long completions by Nathan Hayes set up the score.
St. Charles East forced a 3-and-out and got the ball back, but Rory Hills came up with an interception in the end zone and the Panthers ran out the clock.
"My line was blocking pretty well tonight," said McQuarter. "My team came out here and banged with them. I knew they had my back. All we had to do was fight to the finish and that's what we did."
The first half was a defensive battle with the teams combining for 150 net yards. But the Panthers' tailback tandem began to take over after the break.
"The defense kept us in the game until the second half, when we finally got the ground game going a little bit," said Glenbard North coach Ryan Wilkens.
Hills had a fumble recovery in addition to the interception. Jaden Franzen also had an interception. Angelo Cusumano had a sack and a pass breakup on consecutive plays in the third quarter.
Smiley finished with 156 yards and McQuarter added 77. The Panthers completed just 1 pass.
"There were some holes in there, but there were a lot of plays made by them also," Wilkens said. "They made their own holes, they broke tackles."
The Saints (2-1, 0-1) were just the opposite. Hayes finished with 217 yards through the air, but the visitors never got the running game untracked, finishing with just 18 yards on the ground.
The Saints were not deceived by the Panthers' record which included competitive losses to a pair of stalwart programs.
"0-2 is not a reflection of who they are," said St. Charles East coach Bryce Farquhar going into the game.