Naperville North tops Waubonsie Valley for second straight week

It took just a matter of seconds Friday night for Waubonsie Valley to realize that it was not going to be easy to reverse the outcome of last week's game with Naperville North and qualify for the playoffs.

The Warriors came in at 4-4 and needed a win against a Huskies squad that handed them a 28-7 defeat just last week. When Naperville North senior William Korosec took the opening kickoff 90 yards for a touchdown, the Huskies were off and running, with Korosec adding an interception return score and several other big plays as the visitors prevailed again by the same score of 28-7.

With the win the 6-3 Huskies wait to find out Saturday whom they'll face in the first round of the playoffs. Waubonsie Valley ended the season 4-5, a huge jump from last fall's 0-9 squad.

"The opening kickoff has a lot of momentum and that was the best way to start the game," said Korosec, who had never returned a kick for a score at the varsity level. "I got great blocks, turned it on up the middle and then I just had to beat the kicker."

Warriors coach Tom Baumgartner and his squad couldn't overcome the Huskies' fast start, especially after Korosec added a 47-yard interception return for a touchdown and a 14-0 lead less than 10 minutes into the regular-season finale.

"That was a rough start. You never want to give up a touchdown on the opening kickoff, especially when you're in charge of special teams," Baumgartner said. "But credit our defense and our seniors for battling all night. The last couple of years was not what we are about. We expect to make the playoffs and our kids bounced back this year."

Korosec was not done making an impact after one quarter. He tipped away a Warriors fourth down pass deep in Huskies territory and then added a second interception in the second half as the Huskies defense looks ready for the postseason.

Defensive linemen Gabe Hill, Lawson Grier and Jimmy Lezza made life difficult on the Warriors offense, pressuring quarterback Luke Elsea constantly and stuffing the run game. Waubonsie Valley rushed for just 11 yards in the game, while Elsea completed 22 of 43 passes for 205 yards, including a 35-yard touchdown to Treny Selby that closed the gap to 21-7 in the third quarter.

"Our defensive line every game has been incredible," Korosec said. "They make quarterbacks make throws that they don't want to make and they help the defensive backs so much."

Naperville North coach Sean Drendel agreed with his player's thoughts.

"Our defense was awesome," the coach said. "Our DL is really good and we rotate guys in. It's like hockey shifts. We keep bringing guys in and they keep making plays."

Running back Cole Arl, who topped the 1,000-yard rushing mark last week, had a 63-yard touchdown run in the third quarter on his way to 106 yards on 13 carries, while quarterback Jacob Bell closed out the scoring with a 2-yard run.

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