Woodstock North High School bounced back from recent losses with a 17-7 victory over the Burlington-Central Rockets Oct. 6 in Hampshire. The Thunder are 4-1 in the Kishwaukee River Conference.
Rain and wind throughout the evening was a factor in the game, often slowing play.
The Thunder struck first, scoring a touchdown in the first quarter. With field conditions worsening, WNHS threw an interception leading to a Rockets touchdown in the final minutes of the half to tie the game at 7-7.
Going into the third quarter, the Thunder took control, playing keep -away and maintaining possession of the ball for more than nine minutes.
A field goal by senior Matt Chase and a monster pass by quarterback Colin Mergl to Carter Coleson for a touchdown pushed the Thunder ahead by 10 for the win.
Catches by senior receiver Joe Grover and solid defensive tackles by linebackers Brian Kline, senior, and Coleson, junior, were key to the Thunder’s victory. North commanded the field. Linebacker Trevor Stinger, senior, and Mergl were leading rushers, putting a lot of pressure on the Rocket’s quarterback.
Varsity coach Jeff Schroeder said, “The kids were determined. I was really impressed they were really focused and thoughtful on how to make adjustments. It’s a collaboration between them, the coaches in the booth and coaches on the sidelines. We need to be cognizant of what we expect of the opposing defense and what we didn’t expect. The ball is not going to move without the correct blocking. When the kids take ownership, it’s everybody’s team.”
The Thunder are prepping to play in the second annual First National Bank Challenge at 7:30 p.m. Friday, Oct. 13, against crosstown rivals, the Blue Streaks, at WHS.