Against all odds, the St. Charles North football team advanced to a place hardly anyone expected it would reach.
The North Stars, after major injuries, heartbreaking losses and an improbable run through the postseason, lost in the Class 7A championship game to Nazareth 31-10 on Nov. 26.
After a season-ending injury to starting quarterback Peyton Brown, his younger brother, Kyler, took his place to help lead the team. Alongside Minnesota recruit Tyler Nubin, the North Stars became the first St. Charles team to reach the football state championship.
The North Stars lost back-to-back games to close the regular season, both in the final seconds of regulation. They then beat Normal Community on the road to open the playoffs before beating Rolling Meadows, Wheaton Warrenville South and Mount Carmel en route to Champaign.
They did so on the back of Nubin.
He scored all four of North’s touchdowns – the last in double overtime – in a dramatic 27-21 win over Mount Carmel in the 7A semifinals.
“I’ve never witnessed this before,” Nubin said. “It’s something special. ... It’s an unbelievable feeling.”