Warren pitches another shutout
Warren junior linebacker Jaden Turner took up residence in a second home Friday night -- Libertyville's backfield.
The 6-foot, 180-pound Turner recorded 2 sacks, finished with several quarterback hurries and returned a third-quarter fumble 25 yards for a touchdown in the Blue Devils' 35-0 defeat of host Libertyville in North Suburban Conference football action.
He also felt right at home when he chose to remain in real estate on Warren's side of the ball, intercepting a pass with 8:15 left in the second quarter in the Blue Devils' sixth shutout of the season.
That turnover led to senior quarterback Aidan Lucero's second of 3 TD passes in the first half, a 22-yard connection with senior wide receiver Joel Williams (2 receptions, 38 yards, 2 TDs). Lucero (8-of-17, 141 yards, 3 TDs) had hit Williams with a 16-yarder to open the scoring and then threw a 10-yard scoring strike to junior Jailen Duffie.
Warren junior Justin Kretz caught a gorgeous 42-yard sideline pass from Lucero on the visitors' third play of the game.
Warren (7-1, 6-0) led 28-0 at the half.
Libertyville (5-3, 3-3), which is still playoff eligible, got an interception from senior defensive back John Stokovich on Warren's second possession of the second half.
But joy lasted mere seconds for the hosts.
On the ensuing snap, from the Wildcats' 39-yard line, Warren senior linebacker Christian Eubanks sacked Wildcats senior QB Connor Dickson (11-of-23, 47 yards) and forced a fumble in Turner's new "house." Turner then scooped up the ball and found an easy path to the end zone.
Blue Devils senior running back Maurice Edwards did what Blue Devils senior running Maurice Edwards does often -- run hard and gain yards.
Lots of yards.
The 6-0, 195-pounder rushed 17 times for 133 yards, after Libertyville limited him to 10 yards on 3 totes in the first quarter. Edwards' biggest run -- a 57-yarder in the second quarter -- put the ball at the Libertyville 3 early in the second frame. He scored the lone rushing TD of the night, covering 3 yards, three plays later.
Edwards also caught 4 passes for 52 yards, as Warren expanded its point differential to a wonderful, ridiculously good 324-13 this fall.
The boys from Gurnee allowed only 24 net yards (41 passing, minus-17 rushing) in the first 24 minutes.
Libertyville had to battle for most of the night without standout two-way player Sam Pinsel, who suffered a serious leg injury after catching a 12-yard pass at 5:57 of the first quarter.
Pinsel (2 catches, 30 yards), playing at an all-NSC level as a defensive end/receiver from the first minute this season, received medical attention for about 10 minutes along Libertyville's sideline.
As he was stretchered out of the stadium, a sustained round of applause from both sets of fans buoyed the 6-1, 205-pound difference-maker.
Pinsel then waved to the home supporters and gave them a thumbs-up.
The applause volume reached a higher decibel level.