No. 1 Jets shut out No. 3 Forest Park

CRYSTAL FALLS — You know you have an extraordinary team when you win 42-0, and it was your closest game of the season.

That’s how dominant the North Central Jets have been in 2021, and a six-touchdown win over a solid Forest Park team Oct. 22 at Dick Mettlach Field came without starting quarterback Luke Gorzinski or starting running back/middle linebacker Alex Naser.

Instead of their preferred aerial attack, North Central turned to its power running game and finished with 422 yards on the ground and six touchdowns.

Senior Wyatt Raab led the way with 211 yards and four touchdowns.

“We were kind of indecisive when we started the game,” NC coach Leo Gorzinski admitted. “We didn’t know if we were going to be able to continue with our spread formation, and we haven’t used that five-man power front a whole lot. But yeah, once we got going, I was pretty pleased with it.”

Raab opened the scoring with a 30-yard jaunt at the 2:08 mark of the first quarter. He added the 2-point run to put the top-ranked Jets (9-0) on top.

Junior Drew Allgeyer, who was terrific both offensively at running back and defensively at linebacker, put up NC’s second touchdown, a 24-yard run six seconds into the second quarter.

Raab added a 27-yard scoring romp, and the Jets took a 22-0 lead into intermission.

Given the fact that North Central usually has teams put away by halftime, Forest Park coach Brian Fabbri felt OK about the opening two quarters.

“We knew it was an uphill climb,” Fabbri said. “We came out and hit them, and they hit us. We tried to slow the game down, which I thought was our best chance to stay in the game. And to be down 22-0 at halftime and having fumbled on (the Jets’ 1-yard line), I was super proud of my team.”

The Trojans (7-2) struggled with their preferred power run game but were able to get behind the Jets’ secondary for some big pass plays. Forest Park completed passes of 34 yards (twice) and 43 yards and advanced past the NC 30-yard line three times.

But each time, the Jets stood strong. And that was no surprise, given North Central’s first-team defense has allowed just one touchdown this season.

“It’s just the competition that they have during the season amongst themselves,” Coach Gorzinski said of his defense. “When they line up, and they’ve got to chase down Luke and Alex, it gives them good reps all the time. The best competition we’ve had for them has been in practice.”

Gorzinski pointed out that statement was not meant as an offense to the Trojans.

“It was a hard-fought game,” he said. “Give credit to Forest Park. They played tough.”

The Jets held the Trojans’ vaunted game to only 131 yards on 40 carries. Forty-four of those yards came on one play, an explosive run by Trojan sophomore Felix Quebedo.

North Central wasted no time adding to its lead in the second half. Raab burst free for a 64-yard touchdown on the Jets’ first play from scrimmage of the third quarter as they increased their lead to 29-0.

With just under a minute left in the third quarter, Raab ran in from 28 yards and NC’s impressive kicker Jaden Walters added the PAT to give the Jets a 35-point lead and start the running clock.

Leo Gorzinski said his starting quarterback could have played in the game in an emergency, but he was not needed. That plan may continue into next week’s playoff opener.

“Luke can go,” the coach said. “We’re trying to rest him as long as we can. But in an emergency, we will break the glass.”

On the other hand, Naser is expected to miss more time.

“You don’t want to go without Alex and Luke, but these guys stepped up and proved they were football players tonight.”

Through their remarkable regular season, the Jets out-scored their opponents 478-13. One game was a forfeit win over Gogebic in Week 8.

NC 8 14 13 7 — 42

FP 0 0 0 0 — 0


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