Tigers look to repeat last season’s success

Lucas Porter, Sports / Online Editor

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In the first match up in the season, North Tigers took on the Plainfield Central Wildcats defeating them 21-7.

Last season, The Tigers finished with a district best record of 11 wins and 2 losses plus taking home a second place trophy for class 7A led by head coach Tim Kane. The Wildcats finished with 0 wins and 9 losses, boasting an all-time low for second season head coach Jon Pereiro.

“We can’t worry about the fact that they’ve lost a lot of games in a row or that we’ve won games. That’s really irrelevant,” Kane Said.

The Tigers fell behind in the first quarter after an interception that led to a touchdown by the Wildcats within the first minute of play. Wildcat sophomore CJ Bufkin, a Montini Catholic transfer, returned the interception for a total of 41 yards.

“I was shocked, knowing that we were down already in the game very early in the first quarter, but I knew our Tigers wouldn’t give up after that,” senior fan Brenden Cassidy said.

North came back hard and tied up the game, 7-7, just before half time.

Seniors Colin Creghin and Joe Stiffend exploded in the second half with Creghin making a 53 yard punt return that started the momentum for the Tigers to get their second touchdown of the night, and then the third. The Tigers were up 14-7 at the end of the third quarter.

The Wildcats came back at the end of the 4th quarter with a fumble recovery at the one yard line by senior Jordan Saxon.

North senior, Zach Nadle, caught for a total of 82 yards, averaging a total of 13.7 yards per reception. He also had one touchdown on the night.

In week two, the Oswego Panthers traveled to the newly renovated North stadium for another Southwest Prairie Conference match up. The Tigers won the game 12-7.

North started the game by getting on the board first as senior quarterback Brady Miller threw a short lob pass to wide open senior Zack Nadle.

“It is very exciting to be contributing to a very big win for the team and [North]. Oswego is always a big challenge every year and it feels nice to get back at them from last year,” Nadle said.

The Panthers had a chance of putting points on the board, doing so by keeping the ball on the ground and having it ran by junior Charles Coleman. The Panthers reached fourth down and tried to pass, but it was denied and blocked by North sophomore Patrick Miller.

Once again, it was North’s turn to put another set of points on the board but failed to do so. The Tigers reached fourth down and went with a fake punt to end up throwing a pass to Nadle that was good for a Tiger first down.

Following the fake punt conversion, Oswego senior defensive back Josh Shodipo, caught a 40-yard interception thrown by North quarterback Brady Miller. That didn’t faze the Tigers in the long run towards the end of the game. “We just stayed focused and kept our heads up,” senior Dillon McCarthy said.

Just before halftime, Coleman ran into the end zone after a long and hard-fought battle down the field for the Panthers first touchdown of the night, making Oswego go up at halftime, 7-6. “…We kind of shot ourselves in the foot with the interception that gave them a very short field,” Nadle said.

Coming back out of the gate, North attempted to get on the board by giving the ball off to sophomore Marcellus Moore for a 40-yard gain, while running without his shoe. He had juked two Panther defenders and lost his shoe at about the Tiger 25-yard line.

“It was pretty crazy. Everyone was hyped,” McCarthy said.

As the fourth quarter wound down to the final seconds of play, the ball was exchanged between the Tigers and Panthers many times. One of those time sealed the win for the Tigers.

The Panthers gave the Tigers an interception in the middle of the fourth quarter by senior Sean Dungan. That began the charge for another touchdown to light the V for the second time this season.

The Tigers last attempt was led by a large offensive line to get the ball in the end zone.

“…We knew we had to capitalize on the situation late in the game since we were down,” Nadle said.

It worked for the tigers, and they got another touchdown on the board but failed the two-point conversion to try and add some security. The Panthers were unsuccessful after trying to take the game from the Tigers by turning the ball over.

“We had to fight every play,” senior Kobe Povlick said.


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