Naperville North knocks off Metea Valley in DVC
With the teams trading touchdowns through three quarters, Friday's DuPage Valley Conference contest between Naperville North and visiting Metea Valley resembled a tennis match. That is, until Naperville North's Connor Corrigan turned volleyball player. Sniffing out a Metea swing pass on the first play of the fourth quarter, the junior defensive end floated into the flat, batted the pass into the air, hauled it in and sprinted 67 yards for the score that gave the Huskies a two-TD lead in an eventual 41-21 victory.
"I saw him drop back and the back came out into the flat," Corrigan said. "I just stuck my hand up, tipped the ball, got it and ran."
Corrigan's head's-up play was something that Naperville North coach Sean Drendel has seen quite a bit of.
"Connor gives us fits in practice," he said. "We throw the swing pass, it's something we like to do and he breaks it up all the time. That play flipped the game real quick. He's a great player and he made the play for us."
Corrigan's pick-6 took a bit of the spotlight off Naperville North senior receiver/running back/Wildcat quarterback Matt Maschmeier. For the game Maschmeier touched the ball just 12 times but accounted for 193 yards and 5 touchdowns -- 3 receiving, 1 rushing and 1 passing.
"He's one of the best I've coached," Drendel said. "He's a special player, we just have to keep getting him the ball."
Naperville North (2-4, 2-1) did that on the game's third play and Maschmeier responded with a 32-yard TD run on a jet sweep with just 61 seconds elapsed. His second score came on a 37-yard scoring catch from Anthony Gabrione as the game stood tied 14-14 at the half. Then to open the third quarter, Maschmeier took shotgun snaps after the Huskies recovered a fumble at the Metea 33-yard line. Two runs netted 12 yards before he found Stephan Williams for a 23-yard score. He then added a 6-yard scoring catch late in third quarter and closed the scoring by hauling in a 39-yard toss from Gabrione with five minutes to play.
Metea running back C.J. Wilcox matched Maschmeier big play for big play for the most of the night with 183 yards rushing and 46 receiving with 3 TD runs. All of his touchdowns came on drives immediately following Naperville North scores and his 2-yard plunge with six minutes left in the third quarter actually helped the Mustangs (1-5, 0-3) nose ahead as Ryan Bingham's PAT kick gave them a 21-20 lead.
The Huskies defense rose up from there, finally getting some consistent pressure on Frederick and totaling 4 sacks, 2 by Ethan Hilgert, in the game's final 13 minutes.
Despite the loss Metea coach John Parpet was pleased with his squad's performance.
"I liked our overall competitive nature," he said. "We're only suiting up 35 (players), our guys don't come off the field and we were right there. We're laying down a foundation of competitiveness; we're still improving, and right now we're more competitive."