The student news site of Naperville North High School

The North Star

The student news site of Naperville North High School

The North Star

The student news site of Naperville North High School

The North Star

Huskie football decisively defeats Homewood-Flossmoor on opening night

The Naperville North High School varsity football team opened their season with a win against Homewood-Flossmoor High School on Friday, August 25.

The Huskies (1-0) beat the Vikings (0-1) with a score of 35-21.   

The first half was choppy for both teams as it kept them tied at 7-7. The teams showed their nerves early on when they were heavily penalized and both dropped a punt. The Huskies’ offensive line struggled to keep a clean pocket for quarterback (QB) Jacob Bell, who was consistently under pressure from the Viking’s front seven. At the half, the Huskies regrouped, to later emerge in the third quarter with a different level of confidence and control. Jacob Bell speaks to the mindset shift the Huskies went through during the break.

“We went back to the locker room and we just noticed right away that we were a better team than them and all it took was a little bit of adversity in battle. And as soon as we figured things out and started playing aggressive, outworking them, it all fell into place,” Bell said.

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In the second half, the Huskies overcame their nerves. A turnover on downs, a fumble stripped by linebacker (LB) Kaiser Williams and an interception by defensive back (DB) Zachary Mally shifted the momentum in favor of the Huskies. Bell led the offense with four touchdowns, three of which were on the ground. Two late Viking touchdowns couldn’t close the gap leading the final score to be 35-21. Senior DB Griffin Fiore attributes the second-half success to the defense.

“The defensive energy, getting all the guys riled up, the energy, the competitiveness, we all wanted to [beat them] and we did,” said Fiore.

For the seniors, the stakes were heightened. Many senior Huskies felt the emotional weight of the night. To many of them, Friday was the culmination of four years of hard work. Senior wide receiver (WR) and DB Luke Williams had a unique perspective on the night.

“I’ve been waiting for this day since Zeke (Williams’ brother) did his senior year in 2022. It’s just been so exciting, sharing it with all my seniors and having fun with them,” Williams said.

Next week the competition gets stiffer with the arrival of #2 Loyola Academy. Head Coach Sean Drendel gives praise to the Huskies’ next opponent.

“And next week, I mean, tough, tough tasks to handle, I mean, line it up, and we got to be ready to play. It’s a tough matchup, but it’s a matchup that we’re at our place and we hope to play well,” Drendel said.

The Huskies host the Ramblers on Friday, Sep. 1st. Kickoff is scheduled for 7:00 p.m. at Naperville North. 

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