Huskie football wins thrilling crosstown matchup

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Photo by James Ahn

Luke Williams catches a touchdown pass in the second quarter.

The Naperville North High School varsity football team dominated in their crosstown game against Naperville Central Friday night.

The Huskies (3-3) defeated Central’s Redhawks (2-1) with a final score of 38-27.

Naperville Central’s homecoming game was thwarted by the Huskies, who came into the game playing as a well bonded team. Because they didn’t have a chance to play last year due to COVID-19, the Huskies were also playing with built up motivation. The large and enthusiastic student section provided additional energy for the team. Head Coach Sean Drendel believes that their team’s connection created the win. 

“We talked about being teammates and our bond as a whole group is gonna be better than their singular players, so I think that’s what we did best tonight,” Drendel said. 

Naperville North kept their eye on the prize and maintained pressure on the Redhawks early in the game. Senior Zeke Williams recovered a fumble in the endzone for a touchdown in the third quarter to cement their lead.

“I just saw the ball on the ground and the whistle didn’t blow, so I just went and got it,” Williams said.

The Huskies were in the lead by halftime and kept their momentum up throughout the game, maintaining their victory. Throughout the game, they ran the ball efficiently. Senior Ethan Robert ran for 277 yards with two touchdowns, working hard to find holes in the Redhawks’ defensive line, but ultimately credited the success to the way his team worked together.

“We were playing as a team, we had to come together. Central is a good team, we were probably seen as the underdogs, but we knew we had it in us,” Robert said.

The Huskies commanded the field with dominant kicks by Junior David Olano. Olano scored a field goal, adding to the other successful kicks he had through the game. He explained his strategy to stay calm under the pressure.

“I just try not to look at everyone, look at where I’m aiming, right down the post and it kinda just centers me into my zone. That’s kinda my tactic right there,”  Olano said.

Overall, the team was just happy to beat rival Naperville Central.

“Amazing, unbelievable, we’ve worked all year for this. I know the seniors worked all four years for this, that’s all I’ve got to say,” Williams said.

The Huskies will play their next game on Friday, Oct. 8 at home against Metea Valley High School. Kick-off is scheduled for 7 p.m. 

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