HILLSIDE – Sebastian Calvino could get used to this quarterback thing.
The Downers Grove North senior has been thrust into the role of starting quarterback ever since quarterback David Edwards was knocked out of action in a Week 5 loss to Lyons Township.
Calvino started the season as the Trojans tight end, but has since made a major position switch. Calvino – who has taken a majority of the snaps in Edwards’s absence – ran in three touchdowns against Proviso West while fellow senior Vontae Diggs pitched in on defense and special teams, amassing over 100 return yards and a fumble recovery, as the Trojans won 34-14.
“They keep coming up with big plays,” head coach John Wander said of Calvino and Diggs. “They are good leaders and have kept our offense balanced and productive.”
With Calvino and Diggs leading the way, North (5-3, 2-3 West Suburban Silver) is heating up at the right time. As the push for the playoffs continues, the Trojans are playing their best football of the season, winning their last three games by double digits. Since Edwards’ injury, Calvino and Diggs have been something of a two-headed monster under center.
It took a series for the Trojans to settle in on Friday, as Proviso West recovered a fumble during North’s first offensive possession. But the defense then stepped up, forcing the Panthers to punt.
From there, the Trojans mounted a long scoring drive, culminating in Calvino’s touchdown run near the goal line. The quarterback added another short touchdown dive in the second quarter for a 14-0 lead at halftime. He would reach the end zone again in the third quarter to put the game out of reach.
Calvino now has seven touchdowns in three games as the Trojans starting quarterback, and Wander attributes his success to his gamesmanship and his football IQ.
“He is a very, very smart young man,” Wander said. “Like so many of his teammates, Sebastian will do whatever it takes to win; he has a lot of fun doing it, too. He stepped in right before the game against Downers South and was very nervous. Since then, he has matured a lot and played very well.”
Running back Kyle Leto also added a second half touchdown for North.
With the victory, the Trojans reached the five-win plateau, assuring themselves of a winning season and securing playoff eligibility.
Wander hopes his team can remain focused and end the season on a high note Friday against a Hinsdale Central team that will come in desperate for a win.
“Hinsdale Central is sitting at four wins, so they need this last game to qualify for playoffs,” Wander said. “It’s a good rivalry, so you can throw the records out. It should be an exciting game.”