St. Charles North strikes early in win over Geneva
Trailing in the first half in each of its first 3 games, St. Charles North's football team looked for a better start against Geneva Friday night.
Finding the end zone on their first 2 drives -- and scoring points on all 4 of their first-half possessions, the North Stars (3-1, 2-0) celebrated homecoming with a convincing 31-6 DuKane Conference triumph over the Vikings (0-4, 0-2) in St. Charles.
Senior quarterback Kyler Brown had the hot hand early, completing his first 7 pass attempts for 141 yards and a touchdown -- a 50-yard toss to junior wide receiver Steven Hein (4 catches, 83 yards) to put the North Stars on top 7-0 midway through the opening quarter.
"I worked on the deep ball and rolling out a lot in the offseason," said Brown, who finished 14 of 19 for 223 yards and a pair of touchdowns with an interception. "I believe in my guys. I got the ball to our athletes and they made plays."
After the North Stars' defense stuffed the Vikings on a 4th-and-3 play near midfield, Brown engineered a 6-play, 54-yard drive that was capped by Nick DeMarco's 1-yard TD run to make it 14-0 with 45 seconds left in the first quarter.
"We had a goal to start out hot in the first half and we did," said Brown.
The lead stretched to 24-0 by halftime thanks to a 27-yard field goal from DeMarco and a 32-yard touchdown pass from Brown to Ryan Doherty with 1:29 remaining in the second quarter.
"He (Brown) and the offense probably had their best week of practice," said North Stars coach Rob Pomazak. "It's just timing and getting used to the speed of the game and getting to know the receivers. He has worked really diligently.
"We felt like we could get behind their defense a little bit and we certainly proved that tonight."
Geneva snapped the shutout bid when Matt Osborne's 1-yard TD run capped a 20-play, 80-yard drive to make it 24-6 with 10:27 remaining.
"We haven't had many sustained drives this year so that's something to build off of," said Geneva coach Rob Wicinski. "I don't think we've had any more than nine plays this year so maybe we've figured out who we are."
DeMarco's second TD of the game -- a 5-yard run with 7:36 left -- capped the game's scoring.
"We've got to give Geneva a ton of credit," said Pomazak. "They drove on us and kind of had us on our heels. We were a little winded and they put it in but I think the boys fought really well.
"It's homecoming and it's a good win."
Geneva played turnover-free, led by quarterback Hayden McCoy (8 of 15, 75 yards) and tailback Ethan Mayer (8 carries, 52 yards).
"I'm proud of them," said Wicinski. "They fight, they fire -- we've just got to get better."