Woodstock North football is on a roll, winning its second Kishwaukee River Conference game of the season, 41-21, Sept. 16 at home against the Marengo Indians. North finished the week 2-0 in the conference and split 2-2 in overall standings.
North scored on an opening-play fumble by Marengo.
“We were fortunate to punch it in,” said head coach Jeff Schroeder. “Unfortunately, Marengo scored next on a long pass-play, but we answered back and took the lead.”
North scored two touchdowns in the first quarter and one in the second, going into halftime with a 21-7 lead.
A Thunder turnover in the opening play of the third quarter resulted in a Marengo touchdown.
“We did not allow their team a lot of momentum,” said Schroeder. “Our kids came right back, which showed mental toughness, of which I am really proud.” He said senior running backs Joe Grover [who scored three touchdowns] and Nico Mazzanti ran well and did a great job even though it did not show in stats. He also credited senior Dylan Martinez and junior Zach Stopczynski for good defensive performances.
“Senior quarterback Collin Mergl [who rushed for three touchdowns] had a nice throw to Grover in our final score of the game,” added Schroeder. “We always have improvements to make, but I like the progress we’ve made. This is the first full, entire game we’ve played. It’s something we’ve been pushing for – to stay intense and focus for 48 minutes.” He added although a couple penalties were called in the game, they were really clean penalties.
Mazzanti said, “Our goal was to win the turnover battle, have the fewest penalties, while winning our individual battles. With the result of doing all of these things, we got the win. Going into [our next] game, we need to stay focused at practice and mentally prepare ourselves for a tough opponent. Coach Schroeder is a great coach to have going into a big game like this, because he puts us in the best position to win.”
Friday, Sept. 22, the Thunder will be home for the second week in a row, to take on the KRC opponent Richmond-Burton Rockets in their third conference game of the season. Schroeder said, “Richmond-Burton is fundamentally sound and really well-coached. We need to work on execution, be crisp, and in recognition of the things they are doing, we need to make adjustments right away. We are not going to be handed anything. As long as we continue to contribute like a unit, good things will keep happening.”