CAROL STREAM, Ill. -- No. 9 Glenbard North’s Evin Natick knows what it means to start the season 4-0, especially in the super-competitive DuPage Valley conference. And with the chance to once again start with four consecutive wins, the senior running back relied on his offensive line to get the job done against No. 12 Wheaton North on Friday night.
“We’ve been working hard in practice and coach keeps telling [the line] they have to get better,” said Natick following the Panthers 17-14 win over the visiting Falcons. “[The offensive line] wore them down, they’re big and they just have to keep moving, They did good, I’m so proud of them.”
After a first half that featured more punts and fair catches than exciting plays, the Panthers controlled the second half and turned a 7-7 tie into a 17-7 lead. Natick led the way, rushing for 140 yards and a touchdown on 24 carries behind the emerging offensive line.
Glenbard North quarterback Mark Ng’s biggest play came by way of his leg. Ng converted a 41-yard field goal attempt with just under six minutes to play to cap-off a 14 play, 53 yard drive that would have deflated the home side had it not resulted in points. Ng’s field goal turned out to be a game-winner.
Wheaton North responded with an equally impressive eight-play, 76-yard drive to cut the lead to 17-14 but the Falcons would not get the ball back the rest of the game.
After the Falcons scored late, the Panthers dug in once more and drained the clock to cap the victory.
Player of the game: Natick, with compliments to his offensive line
Stat of the game: 1:46 -- that’s the amount of time the Falcons had the ball in the fourth quarter, a testament to Glenbard North’s late-game dominance
It was over when…: Ng dove for a first down on fourth-and-1 with just over one minute to go in the game
Quote of the night: “It feels great, 4-0! Hopefully we can keep it going.” -- Natick