CAROL STREAM – Having ascended to the top spot in the DuPage Valley Conference after Friday’s 34-13 win over West Aurora, the heavy lifting now begins for Glenbard North’s football team.
The Panthers’ final three regular season games come against teams who are currently tied for second place in the DVC and have a combined record of 15-3.
First up is a road matchup against a Naperville Central squad that was knocked from the unbeaten ranks a week ago by Wheaton Warrenville South.
“Naperville Central is balanced offensively,” said Glenbard North coach Ryan Wilkens. “Quarterback Jake Kolbe is back [from last year] and so is wide receiver Ben Andreas. They have two good running backs; [Kevin] Clifford and [Tyler] Joyce are on the smaller side but they are very quick. And their offensive line is very good.
“And defensively, their stats speak for themselves. They held Wheaton Warrenville South to 14 points and had three straight shutouts before that.”
Heading into Friday’s game, Glenbard North will focus on doing what it does best.
“We have to make sure we are consistent in our run game,” Wilkens said. “And we have to try to deal with their multi-faceted offense the best we can.”
The Panthers geared up for the showdown with their win over West Aurora last Friday.
Justin Jackson surpassed the 200-yard plateau against West Aurora and scored the Panthers’ first four touchdowns. Defensively, Glenbard North posted a shutout until early in the fourth quarter.
“Justin ran the ball well,” Wilkens said, “and defensively, we played very well. Cyris [Parker] was on fire and our linebackers played well.”
Wilkens also pointed out some things that needed to be corrected with the upcoming crucial games over the final three weeks.
“We had too many penalties,” he added. “Some holdings and a chop block, those are drive killers. And we are not consistent enough in all three phases. But it is nice when you are cleaning things up after a win [and not a loss].”