St. Charles North stymies Geneva
Kyle Ptak had rehearsed his reaction far more than once in recent seasons.
The St. Charles North senior linebacker had his preparation pay dividends Friday evening in Geneva as the second quarter came to a close.
Ptak stoned a Geneva ball-carrier, denying him in the process both a first down and a potential touchdown to maintain the North Stars' three-score lead.
The Ptak stop on the North Stars' 2-yard line in the waning seconds before halftime illuminated the St. Charles North defensive resolve in its 35-13 season-opening DuKane Conference football victory over Geneva.
"It seems like for the last three years I have worked for that play," Ptak said. "It felt great to get a big stop to go into the second half up. Every team (we play) we can beat if we play like that."
Jordan Nubin starred on both sides for St. Charles North.
The North Stars (1-0, 1-0) began their second scoring drive in plus territory after Nubin recorded one of six St. Charles North sacks from his defensive back position.
Switching to offense moments later, the senior had back-to-back receptions to set up Josh Bridges' plunge from a yard out to double the North Stars' first-quarter lead.
St. Charles North led 21-0 at halftime when Nubin seemingly improvised on a 36-yard scoring catch and run with quarterback Michael Priami.
"It was just like a designed scramble," Nubin said. "When you get the opportunity to play you have to take the opportunity."
Priami directed the North Stars 65 yards on the opening drive to give St. Charles North a 7-0 lead less than 90 seconds into the game.
The North Stars' senior signal-caller found Steven Hein on a third-and-18 conversion from the Vikings' 28-yard line.
Priami and Ryan Doherty received a well-deserved do-over as the latter burned the Geneva secondary for a 57-yard scoring romp in the third quarter. An ineligible-man-downfield infraction cost the duo a 67-yard touchdown in the first half.
The third Priami touchdown pass extended the North Stars' spread to 28-0 midway through the third quarter.
The dagger came three plays after George Litgen caused a turnover with a fumble-inducing hit off a blindside blitz.
"I just saw the QB and lit him up," Litgen said. "(The Ptak play was) definitely an energizer. It kept us with the momentum and led to a good second half."
The Vikings finally responded when Alex Porter found Michael Ignoffo with a 25-yard passing score after the North Stars were forced to punt from deep in their end zone.
Geneva (0-1, 0-1), winless in 2019, also received a 2-yard score from Konnor Mickelsen.
"As far as I am concerned, of the past two or three years this was one of our better games," Porter said. "We had a lot of positives."
Carson Kuligowski had the North Stars' fifth score with a 7-yard run.