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Girls Softball: Keegan Hayes Does It All As Naperville Central Knocks Off No. 1 Glenbard North

Behind The Fence: Glenbard North’s Lilly Fecho winds up on Wednesday.

A team needs a special performance if it is going to beat the No. 1 ranked team in the state.

That’s exactly what Naperville Central got from pitcher Keegan Hayes on Wednesday as the visiting Redhawks defeated No. 1 Glenbard North 2-1 in a DuPage Valley Conference duel.

The right-handed sophomore gave up one run and four hits in seven innings of work and provided all of the Redhawks offense on a two-run home run in the fourth inning. Naperville Central improved to 21-5, 10-1.

Hayes’ home run, the first of her career, came against Panthers ace Lilly Fecho. Hayes had struck out in her four previous at bats against the Purdue-bound Fecho this season and was in an 0-2 hole before launching the home run over the left-center field fence.

“I was shocked, it didn’t feel like a home run,” said Hayes. “I hadn’t hit so well off of Lilly, so I was really surprised. It didn’t feel like one.”

Fecho had a chance to return the favor with the Panthers trailing 2-1 in the bottom of the seventh inning. With runners on first and second and two outs, Fecho hit a rocket to Redhawks shortstop Kelsey Gonzalez.

Gonzalez made a great stop and tossed the ball over to second baseman Nicole Kappelman for the force out to end the game.

Naperville Central coach Andy Nussbaum praised Gonzalez’s defense after the game.

“I am glad she is on my team. She did what she had to do,” said Nussbaum. “I’m glad she’s on my team and I think I’ve said that about 100 times this year.”

Glenbard North (25-2, 9-2) took a 1-0 lead in the first inning on an RBI double by Kelsey Muller. However, after the first inning the Panthers managed just two more hits.

Fecho had another strong outing, striking out nine batters while giving up seven hits and two runs over seven innings.

After starting the season 20-0, Glenbard North has lost two games in the last ten days. Panthers coach Josh Sanew said his team needs to get things going offensively again.

“We’re sort of heading the wrong way as we’re getting towards the state playoffs,” said Sanew. “I feel like our bats have gone a little bit down here the last five games. We’re just not coming up with that big hit, we’re leaving a ton of people on base. We’ve got six games to turn this thing around and headed in the right direction.”

I wrote this story for the Chicago Sun-Times, Naperville Sun and yourseason.com. It appears here.

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Checking In: First Round Wrap-Up

Wheaton North QB John Peltz (4 total TDs this week against Jacobs) tries to escape a Glenbard North defender during the regular season – Photo from the Chicago Tribune

CLASS 5A

#6 Montini 49 #11 Woodstock North 14

Montini scored four touchdowns over a 12 play stretch in the second half to pull ahead from Woodstock North in the Broncos’ 49-14 first round victory.

The Broncos took a 21-0 lead in the first quarter, but the Thunder battled back and cut the score to 21-14 in the second quarter. From there though, it was all Montini, as the defensing 5A state champs scored the final 28 points of the game.

Wide receiver Jordan Westerkamp had another star performance, hauling in 7 catches for 127 yards and a touchdown. The Nebraska-bound senior also had a 52 yard punt return for the game’s first touchdown.

Quarterback John Rhode continued his string of excellent games, completing 17 of his 25 pass attempts for 330 yards and four touchdowns.

Montini advances to the second round where they will play at #3 Sterling 1 pm on Saturday

#8 St. Francis 27 #9 Burlington 10

After losing in the first round of the playoffs the last two seasons to Montini, St. Francis broke through to the second round for the first time since 2008 when the Spartans won the Class 5A championship.

Defensive back Michael Hanson’s interception in the third quarter was the key play of the game. Trailing 14-10, Burlington opted not to punt on 4th and 13 from the St. Francis 36-yard line. Rockets QB Ryan Ritchie overthrew his target, and the ball landed in the hands of Hanson, who returned the pick 70 yards for a touchdown that put the Spartans up 21-10.

Running back Jack Petrando led the Spartans with 18 carries for 112 yards and a touchdown. Quarterback Nick Donati added two touchdowns, one through the air and another on the ground.

St. Francis faces a tough test in the second round where they will go on the road to face #1 Kaneland at 7 pm on Saturday.

CLASS 6A

#3 Nazareth 35 #14 Deerfield 6

Nazareth running back Joshua Moore ran for 160 yards and four touchdowns in the Roadrunners dominant 35-6 first round win over Deerfield.

The Roadrunners took a 28-0 lead into halftime after holding the Warriors to just 19 yards of offense in the first two quarters. Deerfield scored its first and only touchdown with just 26 seconds remaining in the fourth quarter.

Nazareth will host Cary-Grove next Saturday at 1 pm in the second round. The Roadrunners will be looking to advance to the quarterfinals for the second time in school history.

#10 Glenbard South 30 #7 Foreman 7

Running back Wesley Sanders scored two touchdowns as Glenbard South defeated Foreman 30-7 in the first round of the class 6A playoffs.

The Raiders played a sloppy game (5 fumbles, just one lost) without their starting quarterback Tyler Padera (concussion) but still dominated Foreman. Glenbard South took a 30-0 lead in the fourth quarter.

The Raiders will host Prairie Ridge next Saturday at 7 pm. The two teams met the first week of the season with Prairie Ridge winning convincingly 55-12.

#2 Prairie Ridge 49 #15 Marmion 0

Things started out well for Marmion, as the Cadets recovered a fumble on Prairie Ridge’s first offensive play of the game. However, the Cadets had a field goal attempt blocked on their ensuing possession, and things quickly went down hill.

Prairie Ridge went on to dominate the first half, taking a 42-0 lead into halftime. Quarterback Nick Nissen (12 carries, 38 yards) ran for four touchdowns. Running back Connor Greenwald added a touchdown and led the Wolves with 144 yards on 11 carries.

Marmion earned just one first down in the game while gaining only 23 yards of total offense.

#8 Lake Forest 55 #9 Fenton 20

Fenton struck first, but the Bison were unable to keep things going, losing to Lake Forest 55-20 in the first round of the class 6A playoffs.

Play-making running back Alan Geneva led the Bison with 10 catches for 97 yards and one touchdown.

Quarterback Sean Havlovic did not play for the Bison due a “school-related incident.”

Lake Forest running back Owen Williams (16 carries, 130 yards) reached the end zone four times for the Scots, who will face #1 Batavia in the second round.

CLASS 7A

#11 Carmel 28 #6 Addison Trail 20

Running backs Jordan Kos and Brian Brennan led the way for Carmel as they upset Addison Trail 28-20 in the first round of the class 7A playoffs.

Kos led the Corsairs with 31 carries for 167 yards and one touchdown while Brennan added 20 carries, 78 yards and two touchdowns. Addison Trail had only given up 48 points in the regular season, and never gave up more than 14 points in a game.

The Blazers drove down to the Carmel 11 yard line late in the fourth quarter in an attempt to send the game to overtime. However, the Corsairs forced two incompletions and time expired.

AT Quarterback Trevor Bermingham completed 19 of his 33 pass attempts for 177 yards, two touchdowns and two interceptions.

Carmel will host Crystal Lake South in the second round. The game kicks off at 7 pm Friday night.

#7 Wheaton North 28 #10 Jacobs 0

John Peltz had another strong performance as Wheaton North flew by Jacobs 28-0 in the first round.

Peltz completed 13 of his 19 pass attempts for 277 yards and four touchdowns. The junior added another touchdown on the ground.

Sophomore Matt Biegalski caught 5 passes for 165 yards and a touchdown while senior Johnny Daniels had 3 grabs for 73 yards and two touchdowns.

The Falcons’ defense was able to shut down Jacobs by holding down running back Caz Zyks. The talented back with a sweet name only gained 27 yards on 11 carries.

Wheaton North will face Rockford Boylan, the defending 6A champions, in the second round. That game kicks off at 1 pm Saturday in Rockford.

CLASS 8A

#11 Glenbard North 27 Barrington 21

Glenbard North only completed two passes in their 27-21 fupset win over Barrington, but the second one happened to be the play of the game.

With the scored tied at 21 halfway through the fourth quarter, Panthers quarterback Brian Murphy threw up a prayer into the end zone. The ball somehow fell into the hands of Logan Henshall for a touchdown (also Henshall’s first catch as a varsity player) and the Panthers took a 27-21 lead.

Once again, most of the Glenbard North offensive production came from the Jackson brothers. Junior Justin (17 carries, 95 yards) reached the end zone three times, while senior Phil ran for 122 yards on 21 carries.

The Panthers advanced to the second round where they will host Palatine at 6 pm on Saturday.

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Class 7A and 8A Playoff Mini-Previews: AT Is For Real, How Far Will They Go?

CLASS 7A

#6 Addison Trail (8-1, 6-0) vs #11 Carmel (6-3, 6-2), Fri. Oct. 28, 7 pm in Addison

Addison Trail RB Anthony Messina gets stopped against Downers Grove South

Addison Trail finished off a perfect run through the West Suburban Gold last week with an upset victory over previously undefeated and Class 8A 3-seed Downers Grove South. The Blazers’ strong defense was able to shut down Mustangs running back Justin Williams (20 carries, 51 yards), who had run free all season long, totaling close to 2000 yards on the ground. Addison Trail’s only loss came to Glenbard West, one of the two No. 1 seeds in the 7A playoffs. The Addison Trail defense, led by linebackers Mike Imperiale and Kevin Kent, has had a dominant season. The Blazers shut out four opponents and allowed just 48 total points in the regular season. The Blazers are led on offense by running backs Anthony Catanese and Anthony Messina.

Despite their 8-1 record and conference crown, the Blazers did not receive a easy path in the playoffs. AT was only given a 6-seed and they draw a tough Carmel team in the first round. Carmel lost three games this season by a total of eight points. Two of the Corsairs losses came by just one point, including a 64-63 double overtime loss to Marist in week eight. Carmel also handed Nazareth their only defeat of the season in week two.

The Corsairs’ offense, led by running back Jordan Kos, comes into the playoffs having scored 42 points or more in four straight games. Kos, the school’s all-time leading rusher, ran for more than 600 yards and 12 touchdowns in Carmel’s final three games of the season.

The Blazers were able to shut down DGS’ Williams last week, but will they be able to contain Kos? The match-up between Kos and the dominating Blazers’ defense will be fun to watch. No team has scored more than 14 points against Addison Trail this season.

PREDICTION:

Addison Trail 17 Carmel 14

#7 Wheaton North (7-2, 6-1) vs #10 Jacobs (7-2, 4-2), Fri. Oct. 28, 7:30 pm

Wheaton North QB John Peltz

Wheaton North had won six straight games before the Falcons dropped their season finale 27-13 to their crosstown rivals, Wheaton Warrenville South. The Falcons are led on offense by dual-threat quarterback John Peltz and running back Patrick Sharp. Sharp missed a few games in the middle of the season due to injury, but he seems to be healthy and running strong.

The Falcons will face a tough Jacobs squad in the first round. Jacobs defeated Dundee-Crown 49-0 last week after dropping their two previous games to teams with 8-1 records (Prairie Ridge and Crystal Lake South). The Golden Eagles feature a run heavy offense, led by a running back with a sweet name, Caz Zyks. The 5-10 senior ran for 181 yards and three touchdowns last week against Dundee-Crown.

The winner of this match-up will likely play Rockford Boylan, last year’s 6A champion, in the second round.

PREDICTION:

Wheaton North 31 Jacobs 21

Class 8A

#11 Glenbard North (6-3, 4-3) vs #6 Barrington (7-2, 4-1), Sat. Oct. 29, 6 pm

Glenbard North RB Phil Jackson looks for a hole

Glenbard North was able to snap a three game losing streak last week with a 34-10 win over Naperville North. The Panthers, as they have all season, relied on the Jackson brothers to lead them to victory. Phil and Justin Jackson combined for 253 rushing yards and four touchdowns last week. Older brother Phil has been the workhorse for the Panthers, but Justin has made an impact on offense backing up his brother and on defense as a safety.

The Barrington Broncos, second place finishers in the Mid-Suburban West, come into the playoffs on a three game winning streak. The Broncos features a run first offense led by a strong offensive line. The O-line is anchored by Wisconsin commit Dan Voltz. Running back Chase Murdock ran 36 times behind that line for 315 yards and four touchdowns in Barrington’s 29-28 victory over Conant in week seven. The Broncos got a boost from their special teams last week as Dylan Zyzda returned two kickoffs for touchdowns. The Broncos have a marquee win on their resume, they gave 8-1 Elk Grove their only loss of the season in week two.

PREDICTION:

Barrington 28 Glenbard North 14

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Checking In With The Best Teams I’ve Seen This Season

Glenbard North (5-1, 3-1), tied for second in the Dupage Valley Conference

Glenbard North QB Brian Murphy escapes a tackler against OPRF

WHAT HAVE THEY DONE SINCE WE LAST MET?

Week Five: 31-21 win versus Aurora West

Week Six: 6-10 loss at Naperville Central

REMAINING SCHEDULE:

Week Seven: vs Wheaton-Warrenville South (3-3, 1-3)

Week Eight: at Wheaton North (5-1, 4-0)

Week Nine: vs Naperville North (4-2, 3-1)

RANDOM STATS:

Have outscored opponents 216 to 51

Opponents have tallied 25 wins

Star running back Phil Jackson has rushed for 605 yards and 12 touchdowns

OUTLOOK:

The Panthers offense struggled last week as Glenbard North lost their first game, 10-6 to Naperville Central. Phil Jackson went over 100 yards rushing again, but he was only able to reach the end zone once. Most troubling for the Panthers, starting QB Brian Murphy was knocked out of the game with an injury. Murphy runs well and he had a break out game through the air three weeks ago against Glenbard East when he threw for 229 yards and two touchdowns.

The Panthers end the season with a tough stretch of games against three of the best teams in the Dupage Valley Conference. That stretch could get even more challenging if the Panthers are missing their starting signal caller.

Wheaton North (5-1, 4-0), first place in the Dupage Valley Conference

Wheaton North QB John Peltz winds up to throw

WHAT HAVE THEY DONE SINCE WE LAST MET?

Week Six: 38-7 win versus Aurora West

REMAINING SCHEDULE:

Week Seven: vs Naperville Central (4-2, 3-1)

Week Eight: vs Glenbard North (5-1, 3-1)

Week Nine: at Wheaton-Warrenville South (3-3, 3-1)

RANDOM STATS:

Have outscored opponents 196 to 95

Opponents have won 28 games

QB John Peltz has thrown for 970 yards and 9 TDs, he also has 6 rushing TDs

OUTLOOK:

The Falcons have won four straight games, but the competition is about to get a lot tougher. Their previous three opponents have combined to win three games this season. However, their next three opponents have combined to win 12 games, and are all part of the four-way tie for second place in the DVC.

The Falcons are led by quarterback John Peltz who has thrown for 970 yards and nine touchdowns this season. Peltz is the best quarterback I have seen this season, and the Falcons will need him to keep performing at the level he has been playing at if they are to hold on first place in the DVC.

Montini (4-2, 2-1), tied for second in the Suburban Christian (Blue) Conference

Montini star WR Jordan Westerkamp

LAST GAME: 33-14 win versus St. Francis

REMAINING SCHEDULE:

Week Seven: at St. Edward (4-2, 1-2)

Week Eight: at Walther Lutheran (1-5, 0-3)

Week Nine: vs Wheaton Academy (1-5, 0-3)

RANDOM STATS:

Have outscored opponents 171 to 117

Opponents have won 33 games

WR Jordan Westerkamp has 28 receptions for 514 yards and 9 TDs

OUTLOOK:

After starting the season off 2-2, things are looking up for the defending 5A State Champions. The Broncos have won their last two games against solid conference opponents, Aurora Christian and St. Francis, and have done so in impressive fashion. Montini has outscored their last two opponents 88-28.

Montini’s schedule was front loaded. They lost two early games, but both defeats came at the hands of 6-0 teams, Loyola and Marian Central.

Montini got a boost last week from the debut of quarterback John Rhode. Rhode, a transfer from Marian Central, missed the first five games of the season while recovering from a thumb injury. Rhode took over the quarterbacking duties at halftime, and looked great, tossing three touchdowns in the second half. Two of those touchdowns were caught by star wide receiver Jordan Westerkamp.

The Rhode-Westerkamp connection may take the Broncos to another state championship this season.

Addison Trail (6-0, 4-0), first place in the West Suburban Gold Conference

Addison Trail RB Anthony Messina runs back a kick

LAST GAME: 35-0 win at Proviso East

REMAINING SCHEDULE:

Week Seven: vs Glenbard West (6-0, 4-0)

Week Eight: at Willowbrook (0-6, 0-3)

Week Nine: vs Downers Grove South (6-0, 3-0)

RANDOM STATS:

Have outscored opponents 172 to 13

Opponents have won 22 games

Have posted 4 shutouts this season

OUTLOOK:

Addison Trail is off to the best start in school history thanks to its stifling defense. Led by linebackers Kevin Kent and Mike Imperiale, the Blazers have shut out four of their opponents, and have only given up 13 points through six games.

The Blazers have two tests against undefeated teams left on their schedule, and both games are at home. In between they face a hapless Willowbrook squad that recently lost 48-7 at home to Proviso East on homecoming. First up is a meeting with Glenbard West this Friday night. The Hilltoppers may be without starting QB Justice Odom, who was injured Saturday in a win over Proviso West. AT ends the season with a de-facto West Suburban Conference Championship game against Downers Grove South.

Is the Blazers defense as dominant as the stats suggest? We will find out over the next three weeks.

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Glenbard North Scores Five Second Quarter Touchdowns In 49-0 Rout of Glenbard East

Glenbard North QB Brian Murphy Photo By: Stacia Timonere for the Sun-Times

Glenbard North 49 Glenbard East 0

Glenbard North exploded for 35 second quarter points en route to a 49-0 victory over Glenbard East Friday night in Lombard.

The Panthers pride themselves on being a run-oriented team, but it was the passing game that sparked the Panthers’ five touchdown outburst in the second quarter.

“I think we got a little stubborn in the first quarter, we tried to run, tried to run, tried to run, and we were attacking walled cities,” said Glenbard North head coach Ryan Wilkens. “We just decided that we would try to loosen up a little bit and go to the air. Brian had a good night, he threw 10 times in the first half, that’s a lot for us.”

Quarterback Brian Murphy completed 8 of his 10 first half pass attempts for 229 yards and two touchdowns. His second touchdown of the night was a 79-yard bomb to wide receiver Trevor Hackett that put the Panthers up 3-0.

Murphy also connected with wide receiver Solomon Oquendo for a 12-yard touchdown.

“I thought his timing was very good, he sat back there in the pocket, he had pretty decent time, but his accuracy and his timing was pretty good,” said Wilkens about his junior quarterback. “Overall for a team that is more of a run-oriented team, I thought he did a very, very good job tonight.”

The Panthers (4-0, 2-0) recovered a Glenbard East muffed punt at the Rams’ 15 yard line on the first play of the second quarter. The Panthers capitalized on the subsequent play when running back Phil Jackson ran 15 yards for his second touchdown on the game, putting Glenbard North ahead 14-0.

The senior running back finished the game with 75 yards and two touchdowns on 13 carries.

Back-up running back Justin Jackson scored the second Panthers touchdown of the quarter on a 34-yard run down the right sideline. Jackson, who also starts at safety on defense, blocked a punt on the Panthers’ next defensive possession.

The Panthers fifth and final touchdown of the second quarter was scored by running back Tremel Smith on a one yard run. Glenbard North led 42-0 at halftime.

Quarterback Joe Kotch and the Glenbard East (1-3, 0-2) offense was unable to get anything going the entire game. The Rams only managed to gain 79 yards and four first downs, and turned the ball over five times. Kotch completed 3 of his 18 pass attempts for 23 yards and threw three interceptions.

“We didn’t do a whole lot right in every phase,” said Glenbard East head coach John Walters. “We need to make sure that we’re transferring our practice skill out here to the football field on Friday night, and that’s exactly what’s not happened for us.”

The Rams have lost three straight games since winning their home opener.

I wrote this story for the Chicago Sun-Times. It appears online at yourseason.com.

SCORING PLAYS

FIRST QUARTER

[5:30] GN Phil Jackson 1 yard run (PAT good) – 7-0 GN

SECOND QUARTER

[11:14] GN Phil Jackson 15 yard run (PAT good) – 14-0 GN

[6:59] GN Justin Jackson 34 yard run (PAT good) – 21-0 GN

[5:15] GN Brian Murphy 12 yard pass to Solomon Oquendo (PAT good) – 28-0 GN

[2:30] GN Brian Murphy 79 yard pass to Trevor Hackett (PAT good) – 35-0 GN

[0:11] GN Tremel Smith 1 yard run (PAT good) – 42-0 GN

FOURTH QUARTER

[8:35] GN Vincent Sherrod 37 yard run (PAT good) – 49-0 GN

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Glenbard North Runs Overs Oak Park

Oak Park’s Brennan Van Spankeren attempts to sack Glenbard QB Brian Murphy. Photo taken by Jon Langham~for Sun-Times Media.

Glenbard North took advantage of a deep running game to defeat Oak Park 40-20 in Carol Stream Friday.

The Panthers started the scoring as senior quarterback Brian Murphy connected with wide receiver Solomon Oquendo on a 37-yard touchdown pass, putting the Panthers up 6-0 late in the first quarter.

On the team’s next drive, senior running back Phil Jackson got the Panthers to the 3-yard line with a 67-yard run. Jackson then gave the Panthers a 12-0 lead on the ensuing play with a three-yard touchdown run up the middle. Jackson finished the game with 11 carries for 109 yards and one touchdown.

Backup running back Mario Rodriguez scored three touchdowns for the Panthers. Rodriguez returned a punt 52 yards for a score in the second quarter, putting the Panthers up 19-0. Rodriguez later added second-half touchdown runs of 9 and 7 yards.

Murphy ended the first half scoring for the Panthers with a 33-yard touchdown run on an option keeper. The Panthers led the Huskies 26-0 at halftime.

“It all starts with the line, they did really good tonight. They exceeded their expectations,” said Jackson. “Then we’ve got out three running backs, me, Justin [Jackson] and Mario. I think we should be pretty good this season.”

Even though his team had a 26-0 halftime lead, Panthers head coach Ryan Wilkens thought his team played better in the second half.

“In the second half I thought we did a better job moving the ball the way we would like to. They shut us down a little bit in the first half, the second half we came out and played a little bit better,” said Wilkens.

Oak Park quarterback John Phelan bounced back from a forgettable first half (1-8 for 20 yards) with a touchdown scoring drive to start the second half. Phalen ended the drive when he hit a wide open Ryan Nelson for a 54 yard touchdown.

The Huskies got second half touchdowns on an 80-yard fumble recovery from cornerback Kenneth Cheatham and a 29-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Dain Mrozek to wide receiver Jamal Baggett.

I wrote this story for the Chicago Sun-Times. It appears on their prep sports website, yourseason.com

Scoring Plays:

FIRST QUARTER

[2:37] GN Solomon Oqunedo 37 yard pass from Brian Murphy (PAT blocked) – 6-0 GN

SECOND QUARTER

[11:13] GN Phil Jackson 3 yard run (2-point conversion failed) – 12-0 GN

[9:29] GN Mario Rodriguez 52 yard punt return (PAT good) – 19-0 GN

[1:09] GN Brian Murphy 33 yard run (PAT good) – 26-0 GN

THIRD QUARTER

[9:34] OPRF Ryan Nelson 54 yard pass from John Phelan (PAT good) – 26-7 GN

[5:14] GN Mario Rodriguez 9 yard run (PAT good) – 33-7 GN

FOURTH QUARTER

[11:06] OPRF Kenneth Cheatham 80 yard fumble recovery (PAT good) – 33-14 GN

[7:48] GN Marion Rodriguez 7 yard run (PAT good) – 40-14 GN

[2:00] OPRF Jamal Baggett 29 yard pass from Dain Mrozek (PAT no good) 40-20 GN

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