ST. CHARLES – Reece Conroyd displayed plenty of durability en route to becoming the St. Charles North football program’s all-time leading tackler.
On Friday, the night he surpassed North alumnus Jake Rigert’s former standard of 258 tackles, Conroyd showed off some resiliency, too.
The senior linebacker actually fumbled a second-quarter carry before entering the North record book, and made his 257th tackle one play after Elgin faked a punt for a first down deep in its own territory.
Other than that, the North Stars’ 49-0 Upstate Eight Conference River Division victory went seamlessly for Conroyd and North, although Conroyd at times strived for more.
“I was just kind of down because I thought I wasn’t playing to my level. I thought I was playing down to their level,” he said. “That’s why I was upset with myself. I’m hard on myself, you know. I’m a perfectionist. When I’m not doing right, I get down on myself about it.”
St. Charles North (2-2, 1-1 UEC River) established senior running back Evan Kurtz early and often to begin the game. On North’s first drive – a four play, 60-yard, 1:34 spurt – Kurtz accounted for 56 yards on three touches, capping the drive with a 17-yard touchdown run.
He added scoring runs of 4, 5 and 5 yards in the first half, helping North build a 35-0 lead at intermission.
“The offensive line has been absolutely imperative for me the last couple of games,” Kurtz said. “They’ve been opening up a lot of holes. I give them complete credit. Without them, I wouldn’t be doing what I am right now.”
The North Stars triggered the running clock when Chris Page dashed for a 24-yard touchdown with 10:03 to play in the third quarter.
Although he downplayed it, Conroyd recorded the night’s more lasting milestone when he stopped the Maroons’ Jaylen Clemons for no gain with 1:20 remaining in the third quarter.
“This is my third year. I haven’t played a single playoff game. So [the record] doesn’t mean anything to me,” Conroyd said. “What means [something] to me is win this game and go on to next week, because next week is what counts. Getting wins every week.”
Elgin (0-4, 0-2) scuffled from the start, going three and out on its first three possessions and allowing a popped-up North kickoff down the right sideline to fall into the arms of the North Stars’ Nicholas Edlund. Special teams woes sprouted again later, as Elgin misplayed a deep kickoff and started a drive at its own 1.
In a prelude to Conroyd’s achievement, junior Jordan Bergren sacked Maroons quarterback Ryan Sitter twice in the opening drive. It was just the beginning of a rollicking night the North Stars hope to prolong.
North embarked on a three-game winning streak beginning in Week 4 of last season, a run that started with a 49-0 road rout of Elgin.
While the game sites have changed in 2013, North sees the same order of opponents from last’ season’s surge this fall. The North Stars visit Geneva next week before returning home against Streamwood.
On Friday, along with Conroyd’s tackle watch, some manner of second-half suspense dwelled down the road from the stadium.
It used to a be a pizza joint held itself accountable to its own standards, such as the 30-minutes-or-its-free delivery guarantee. The Taylor St. Pizza franchise at 301 W. Route 64 in Wasco went one better Friday afternoon, creating new parameters to score free pie.
A tweet challenged the North Stars’ offense to meet one of two criteria to earn a free slice today: Either amass 400 yards of total offense against the Maroons or score four rushing touchdowns and two passing touchdowns in the game.
North gained 406 yards, but it turns out the defense will benefit, too. The wife of linebackers coach Rick Magsamen bakes 300 cookies for the ‘D’ for every shutout, Conroyd said.
St. Charles North 49, Elgin 0
Elgin 0 0 0 0 – 0 STC North 21 14 7 7 – 49
HOW THEY SCORED
FIRST QUARTER N – Kurtz 17 run (Stutesman kick), 8:16 N – Kurtz 4 run (Stutseman kick), 5:05 N – Hunter 5 run (Stutesman kick) 0:08SECOND QUARTER N – Kurtz 9 run (Stutesman kick), 10:56 N – Kurtz 5 run (Stutesman kick), 2:18THIRD QUARTER N – Page 24 run (Stutesman kick) 10:03FOURTH QUARTER N – Page 12 run (Stutesman kick), 11:50
RUSHING – Elgin: Sitter 8-9, Clemons 4-5, Rios 1-5, Page 5-2, Gaddy 2-2, Smith 4-0, Behining 2-0. Totals: 26-23. St. Charles North: Kurtz 14-92, Page 6-68, Miller 4-38, Edlund 3-24, Hausl 2-17, McBride 3-16, Didier 3-6, Hunter 1-5, Conroyd 1-4. Totals: 37-270.
PASSING – Elgin: Sitter 3-10-7. St. Charles North: Miller 8-10-116, Didier 2-3-20.
RECEIVING – Elgin: Smith 3-7, Clemons 1-7. St. Charles North: Hunter 3-43, Kurtz 2-37, Johnson 3-36, Legare 1-12, Callaghan 1-8.
Total offense: St. Charles North 406, Elgin 30.
Sophomore game: St. Charles North 56, Elgin 36