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Team effort nets North win

LOMBARD – As a wide receiver in Glenbard North’s run-based offense, Kendall Holbert is fully aware that opportunities to catch passes don’t come around all that often.

So when those chances do pop up, the Panthers’ senior realizes he literally needs to rise up and grab them.

On Sept. 27, Holbert did just that, hauling in his team’s only two receptions to help Glenbard North to a 40-0 win over Glenbard East.

“Obviously we have Justin [Jackson],” Holbert said, “so we [receivers] don’t get as many looks. But it’s nice to make plays out there and do the best with the opportunities that we do get.”

Holbert’s first catch went for 40 yards and after he was tackled at the half-yard line, Jackson found the end zone for the opening score of the game.

The senior later added a 14-yard touchdown reception from quarterback Brett Gasiorowski.

For the year, the wideout has 10 catches for a team-high 231 yards, to go along with three scores.

At the same time, Holbert and his fellow wideouts have further responsibilities as blockers for Jackson, who finished with three touchdowns against the Rams. Freshman running back Vittorio Tricase also got into the act, rushing for 113 yards and a score on 13 carries.

“We work on blocking a lot in practice,” Holbert said.

“We know we have to make blocks for Justin and it feels good, knowing you helped him to those big runs.”

Adding to Holbert’s resume this fall is his ability to play on the other side of the ball as a safety for the Panthers’ defense, leaving only a few rest breaks during the course of a game.

“This is my first year playing safety,” Holbert said, “and I love it. It’s fun always being out there.”

Next up for Holbert and his teammates is a matchup with West Aurora, which precedes a stretch of key conference games against Naperville Central, Wheaton Warrenville South and Wheaton North.

“We want to keep the wins going,” Holbert added, “and make sure we got that playoff berth.”

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