Breaking It Down: Ninety-nine yards, two fourth-down conversions, a personal foul and a 6-yard touchdown run by DeSean Brown. The drive that put Naperville North over the top in a 26-23 victory over Naperville Central on Friday night took 26 plays—26!— and ate up nearly all of the fourth quarter, but Naperville North found a way.
Down 23-19 early in the fourth and pinned at their own 1-foot line, the Huskies leaned on dynamic brother duo Johnny and DeSean Brown to lead them to the promised land, and they did not disappoint. Eating clock and picking up a little at a time, with a little help from penalties against Naperville Central along the way, the Huskies' offense drove the length of the field, notching first down after first down before DeSean plowed his way into the end zone for six points. Following the point-after it was 26-23 with 1:45 left. The Redhawks needed 62 yards to reach the end zone after the kickoff.
Though Central would manage to drive the ball to the Huskies' 6, Naperville North's defense stood strong and stonewalled the Redhawks' offense on second-and-goal as time expired, igniting a wave of cheers from their fans as the clock hit triple zeros, sealing Naperville North's 26-23 victory in the Wes Spencer Classic at North Central College.
Patch’s MVPs: Johnny Brown, quarterback, and DeSean Brown, running back, Naperville North. The stat lines won't blow anyone away, but the end result is what counts. The brothers combined for four rushing touchdowns, two apiece, to tally 24 of their team's 26 points and boost the Huskies over the Redhawks in the crosstown show-down.
Naperville North Stat Pack: Johnny Brown went 14-of-23 for 124 yards, while carrying the ball 19 times for 23 yards. DeSean Brown finished with 12 carries for 47 yards. He also had eight catches for 68 yards. Eric Montgomery had two sacks and seven total tackles.
Naperville Central Stat Pack: Jake Klobe went 12-of-19 for 152 yards and a touchdown. Jim Nashert had eight carries for 38 yards and two touchdowns. He also had one catch for 19 yards and a touchdown. Matt McBrian had a sack, while Ryan Berg had 10 total tackles.
Quotable I: “I'm very excited we knocked them out of the playoffs, now we're in the playoffs. It's a train getting ready to roll as far as we can.” —DeSean Brown, running back, Naperville North.
Quotable II: “That's a great high school football game, I'm proud of that football game. … I'm extremely proud of our team. It stings; it does. But I'm proud of the way our kids battled, of the way our kids played.” —Naperville Central coach Mike Stein.
Team Records: Naperville North improved to 5-3 overall and 4-2 in DuPage Valley Conference play, while the loss drops Naperville Central to 3-5 overall and 3-3 in the DuPage Valley Conference.
What’s Next: Naperville North will next play Glenbard North at 7:30 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 19, at home. Naperville Central will play West Chicago on the road at 7:30 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 19.
Scores of Interest: Glenbard North 17, Wheaton North 15; West Aurora 35, West Chicago 9. For more scores of interest, check out the IHSA Score Zone.