Woodstock North High School’s attempt to put a stop to the undefeated Johnsburg Skyhawks – currently in first place in the Kishwaukee River Conference – was unsuccessful, ending in a 41-7 loss.

What the team lacked in touchdowns, it made up for with Thunder homecoming school spirit.

“I think kids played hard, despite the score. Their heart and spirit was there,” said WNHS head coach Jeff Schroeder. “It’s hard to lose at homecoming. We had opportunities,  but we have to hold onto the football. We lost three fumbles during the game, and, when we play a team like Johnsburg, one of the better teams in the state, we cannot make mistakes,” added Schroeder.

He pointed out two things that hurt North were penalties and turnovers. “We would make a play and the ball would get fumbled, or we would receive a penalty call. That pretty much summed up the game.  Our kids did their assignments, but Johnsburg had so much speed, we were a step slow. Johnsburg has one of the highest-rated passers in the county as their quarterback. He definitely lived up to it.”

Highlights for the Thunder included a 40-yard run by sophomore running back Eddie Flores and senior running back Jake Miceli batting down a potential touchdown pass in the end zone. Schroeder also gave a nod to sophomore lineman Derek Freeman for putting pressure on the Skyhawks quarterback.

“We were obviously disappointed at our loss … that just makes us more ready and hungry to go after our games that are ahead of us,” said Miceli.

Schroeder told his team to hold their heads up and be ready for practice on Monday. Every week they mentally reset their standings back to 0-0, taking the season one game at a time. With this loss coming on the heels of a three-game winning streak, Schroeder said they’ll assess what happened, pick themselves up and revisit fundamentals like ball security, sustaining blocks, carrying out fakes and execution in general.

WNHS, 3-1 in conference play, will be on the road for the final three games of regular season play, taking on the Burlington-Central Rockets at 7 p.m. Friday, Oct. 6, at Burlington-Central.

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