High School: Week 4 recaps

Recap: Carmel 31, Joliet Catholic 28

September, 18, 2010
MUNDELEIN, Ill. -- With the final seconds of a wild first quarter ticking away, No. 7 Carmel knew it needed a stop.

“Our guys didn’t need any reassurance that we could force them off the field,” coach Andy Bitto said. “We just kept battling.”

Battled they did, en route to a key 31-28 victory over No. 4 Joliet Catholic.

The Corsair offense got things going on the game’s opening drive courtesy of a Jordan Kos 25-yard touchdown run that give Carmel (4-0) a quick 7-0 lead. It didn’t last long, as Joliet Catholic needed only one play from scrimmage to go 80 yards, thanks to electric running back Josh Ferguson.

Carmel regained the lead as quarterback Brian Serio threw a touchdown pass, but then the Joliet backfield was at it again, with Malin Jones taking a handoff 73 yards for a touchdown on the second play from scrimmage.

Back and forth the teams went. Serio again found an open receiver, Ryan Cappis, for a 15-yard score. But the very next kickoff, Joliet Catholic (3-1) responded as Josh Ferguson flew 95 yards to even the game again. In only three possessions and two offensive plays, Joliet Catholic had produced 21 points.

“I was just about ready to trip one of their guys going up the sidelines…that was the only way we were going to stop them at that point in the game,” said Bitto.

Both teams’ defenses did respond following the 42-point first quarter, as the score remained tied at halftime. That trend continued on into the 3rd quarter until Serio and the Carmel offense put together a 56-yard drive cumulating with an 11-yard quarterback keeper.

Ferguson, who had reached the century mark by halftime, was held under 50 yards in the second half.

“Give credit to their defense for stepping up and making plays,” said Ferguson.

Player of the game: Brian Serio, QB, Carmel. Serio was methodical and efficient throughout the entire night, passing for two scores and rushing for another.

Stat of the game: After a first quarter in which the Hilltoppers offense and special teams produced points on the first three possessions, they were shut out until 2:06 remained in the 4th quarter.

It was over when…: Joliet Catholic failed to recover an onside kick with a little over two minutes remaining and no time outs.

Quote of the night: “Over the past 11 years, this game has decided the conference championship…so getting this one now is nice.” --Carmel coach Andy Bitto

Recap: Glenbard N. 17, Wheaton N. 14

September, 18, 2010
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