Defending champs deliver Trojans' first loss
DOWNERS GROVE – For the first two weeks of the season, Downers Grove North’s football team was the one delivering the blows.
Friday night, the Trojans absorbed one.
After winning via shutout the first two games, North suffered a 21-0 loss to West Suburban Silver conference rival and defending Class 7A state champ Glenbard West.
The Hilltoppers scored late in the first half and on the first drive of the second half to turn a close game into a lopsided affair.
“It was a good butt whoopin’,” North coach John Wander said.
A big run set up West’s first touchdown, a 16-yard pass from Drew Vogg to Grant Greeno midway through the first quarter. North (2-1 overall, 0-1 WSS) stifled the Hilltoppers’ (2-1, 1-0) next drive and then punted the visitors down to the 4-yard line with 6:43 left in the second quarter. West then marched 96 yards on a scoring drive capped by Scott Andrew’s 1-yard leap with 34.1 seconds left in the half.
“Their early touchdown was not a big deal,” Wander said. “The 96-yard drive was a big deal and then coming right out in the third quarter and scoring, too, because you’re not going to score 28 points against that defense. You never do. It kind of shot any chance we had.”
West scored 1:31 into the second half on a weaving 48-yard run by Pernevlon Sheppard. North went from its own 22-yard line to the Hilltoppers’ 21-yard line on the ensuing drive, but an interception ended the march. The Trojans didn’t enter West territory again, and their triple-option ground game was limited to 79 yards by the Hilltoppers’ defense.
“I think that we need to get in the film room [Saturday] and see how we played up front.” North quarterback David Edwards said. “Glenbard West is a very fast, physical football team and we need to see what we need to improve on.”
Friday’s game was the de facto conference championship game; West has finished at the top of the conference every year since 2008. Wander is hoping for better results should the Trojans face West in the postseason.
“This was the conference championship, so it’s back to the drawing board,” Wander said. “But we’ll see them again [in the playoffs].”