O-line paves way for St. Charles North's victory
Falling behind early against Lake Park wasn't exactly what St. Charles North's football team wanted to happen Saturday afternoon.
However, the North Stars didn't bat an eye or appear rattled at all, either.
After the Lancers (2-3, 1-2) capped a 12-play, 67-yard drive with Anthony Beacom's 5-yard touchdown run to take a 7-6 lead early in the second quarter, St. Charles North began its next possession with a stay-the-course attitude.
"When we got down by a point, no one was freaking out," said North Stars junior running back Nick DeMarco. "We stayed calm, cool and collective -- we just did our thing."
DeMarco (16 carries, 97 yards) ended a 7-play, 70-yard scoring drive with his 1-yard touchdown plunge and the North Stars (4-1, 3-0) added another TD right before halftime en route to their 33-14 DuKane Conference victory over Lake Park in Roselle.
Senior quarterback Kyler Brown (9 of 12, 134 yards) tossed a 49-yard touchdown pass to Ryan Thiesse with 25 seconds remaining in the first half to extend the North Stars' lead to 20-7.
"If you can win the last four minutes (of the first half) and the first four minutes (of the second half), you're going to be in a real good spot to win a football game," said North Stars coach Rob Pomazak.
"Good teams understand that and are able to win those moments. I think our kids answered that today."
DeMarco's 8-yard touchdown run -- his third TD of the game -- upped the lead to 26-7 midway through the third quarter before Josh Bridges' 33-yard TD run with 10:45 left gave the North Stars a 33-7 advantage.
With junior starter Ian Erickson nursing a hand injury, the North Stars' 5-man offensive front consisting of seniors Matt Fell, Dillon Horvath, juniors Carmine Bastone, Corey Krueger and sophomore Paolo Gennarelli provided plenty of running room for backs Ben Furtney (11 carries, 98 yards), Bridges (3 carries, 45 yards) and DeMarco.
"The offensive line got their blocks and made the holes," said DeMarco.
The North Stars finished with 242 yards on the ground.
"I think we came out with the intention of being physical at the point of attack," said Pomazak. "The boys came out and really did a great job up front. That's the kind of team we think we can be."
Whistled for 12 penalties, Lake Park scored a late fourth-quarter touchdown on a 19-yard pass from quarterback Nate Merchant (23 of 33, 193 yards) to Frankie Fricano.
"We lacked discipline -- that's just composure and perseverance," said Lancers coach Chris Roll. "Luckily, there's enough season left to get better but that one I call a wasted opportunity.
"Their offense really took control of that game at the line and with their big backs."