PLAINFIELD – The Plainfield North defense produced four turnovers, including a key interception in the first half, to make a bold statement in the Southwest Prairie opener Friday night against Oswego East.
The Tigers were looking to respond after a disappointing loss to Bishop McNamara and jumped to a 21-0 first-half lead. Plainfield North forced two more second-half turnovers before sealing a 28-9 victory over the Wolves.
“We were in the red zone so many times [against McNamara] and didn’t punch it in,” North head coach Tim Kane said. “It was a terrible feeling, so for our kids to come back and play the way we did, get up early and get some good momentum – they have some pretty good weapons – I was proud of how our defense played, and our offense, too. I thought it was a really good effort on both sides of the ball, and special teams.”
North scored on its third possession when quarterback JD Ekowa connected with Zach Jarosz for a 28-yard score with 1:19 to play in the first quarter.
The Tigers’ next touchdown drive was set up by a 43-yard catch by TJ Kane to the Oswego East 2, which led to a 1-yard score by Dillon McCarthy.
McCarthy was back in the end zone minutes later when he intercepted Oswego East quarterback Jaylon Banks and ran in from the 28-yard line with 6:31 to play in the first half. Connor Peplow’s third extra-point kick made it 21-0.
Oswego East’s Devin Aguilar got in front of Ekowa’s pass with 4:31 left and the Wolves (2-1, 0-1) converted the turnover into their only touchdown. The eight-play, 72-yard drive ended with a 12-yard touchdown pass from Banks to Stephon Harris. North blocked the extra-point kick for a 21-6 lead.
After a 30-yard Oswego East field goal, North (2-1, 1-0) was driving the ball to start the fourth quarter when Ekowa threw a deep pass to Kevin Block for a 54-yard touchdown with 10:39 left.
Although the Tigers recovered an Oswego East fumble seconds later, the Wolves’ offense was back on the field when Aguilar intercepted Ekowa for a second time Neither team could put together a scoring drive in the final 10 minutes.
“We’ve still got to clean up some things,” Kane said. “We had the darn interceptions and fumbled the ball when we were trying to run the clock out. You can’t do those types of things.”