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Huskie football improves to 4-0 with come-from-behind victory on Homecoming Night

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The Naperville North Huskies played their annual Homecoming game last night. Looking to avenge last season’s Homecoming defeat at the hands of Neuqua Valley, the Huskies played with intense passion and spirit. They flipped the script, coming from behind on Homecoming Night.

The Huskies (4-0, 3-0) defeated the Lake Park Lancers (2-2, 2-1) by a final score of 21-14.

After three straight games of 40+ points, the Huskies matched up against a stingy Lake Park defense that had given up a combined 31 points in the previous two weeks. The scoring opened on a mammoth 51-yard FG by Lancers K Zach Deardorff. QB Drake Davis, needing a quick response, fired an 81-yard TD strike that flew into the waiting arms of WR Matthew Heinz who sprinted down the sideline for the early lead. Davis added two TD’s on the ground, including the game-winner with 23.1 seconds remaining in regulation.

“Time was running out and I had to make a play,” Davis said. “When I saw that the left side was open, I decided to run for it.”

The defense of the Huskies, anchored by LB’s Bo Richter and Ryan Marrano, forced three turnovers and stood tall in key moments late in the fourth quarter. After the Lancers converted a 4th and 15, the defense was able to stuff four goal-to-go opportunities to give the ball back to the offense. This thrilled the coaching staff, namely head coach Sean Drendel.

“That is how the defense played tonight,” Drendel said. “We bent a lot, but did not break.”

The Huskies had their backs against the wall late in the fourth quarter. With under three minutes remaining and no timeouts in their back pocket, the Huskies faced an intimidating 3rd and 15. Down by a single point, Davis unloaded a 56-yard cannon to WR Ryan Laurenzo who, after bobbling the ball, miraculously hauled it in amid a sea of Lancer defenders in an unbelievable display of concentration.

“The offensive line was giving me space,” Davis said. “Laurenzo went up and made a spectacular play.”

The conclusion of this game had shades of the Week 1 finish in Edwardsville, when Davis rushed it up the gut to complete a historic comeback. Down with under 30 seconds left once again, Davis rose to the occasion and scampered into the end zone from nine yards out, thrusting the dagger into the hearts of the Lancers. Homecoming Court appointee and offensive threat Jack Hinkle recalled the massive turn of events.

“We always finish strong,” Hinkle said. “Davis put the team on his back and we got the job done.”

The Huskies seek to extend their win streak to five next week against the Panthers of Glenbard North. A string of four road games in five weeks to finish the regular season begins next week in Carol Stream. With the fierce perseverance and determination that fuels the Huskies each week, the spearheaded attitude of coach Drendel should not come as a surprise.

“I would hate to fight ourselves in a dark alley,” Drendel said. “You would have to die to get out of there with us.”

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Huskie football improves to 4-0 with come-from-behind victory on Homecoming Night