Glenbard North beats WW South for fourth straight win
Glenbard North's suddenly the football team no one wants to play.
The Panthers notched their fourth straight win and became playoff eligible with Friday's 23-7 DuKane Conference victory at Wheaton Warrenville South.
Not too shabby for a team that went winless in 2018 and started this season with losses to Class 8A powerhouses Warren and Neuqua Valley. After facing one of the toughest schedules around, Glenbard North (5-3, 5-1) already virtually assured itself a playoff berth -- the Panthers can make it official by beating winless Geneva next week -- and can clinch a share of the outright DKC title with a win over the Vikings.
"We had a lot of tough games early in the season, but we knew if we worked hard and played as a team it'd pay off," said Panthers linebacker-receiver Angelo Cusumano. "We're not scared of anyone but we can't overlook any team."
WW South (5-3, 3-3) started the game with a goal-line stand, but the Tigers had a punt snap sail out of the end zone to give the Panthers a quick 2-0 lead. After the teams traded punts, a Cusumano interception led to his 19-yard touchdown reception from quarterback Michael Vazquez.
With more than three minutes left in the first quarter, the Panthers already had all the points they needed with a 9-0 lead.
"It's rolling right now," said Vazquez, who threw for 187 yards, including 120 to Kobie Jamison. "Last year hurt, but we had a lot of returning starters. We knew we had to get after it."
Glenbard North maintained the 9-0 halftime lead while limiting the Tigers to 52 total yards. WW South narrowed the gap to 9-7 late in the third quarter on Parker Brown's 23-yard touchdown pass to Jack Olsen, but the Panthers answered on their next possession when Vazquez found Cusumano for a 33-yard score.
The Panthers added their final touchdown in the game's final minute when Cordell Smiley bulled in from a yard out. Smiley and Jordan McQuarters combined for 121 rushing yards.
"Right now we're struggling on offense and with a physical line of scrimmage," said Tigers coach Ron Muhitch. whose team may need to beat St. Charles North next week to qualify for the playoffs. "We have to figure out a way to beat a good, solid football team because that's what it's going to look like from here on out."