Turnovers haunt Carmel in loss to Glenbard North
Mundelein, 08/31/12--Carmel quarterback Josh Walinski keeps the football during Friday's game against Glenbard North. | Jeff Krage~For Sun-Times Media
Updated: September 3, 2012 12:50PM
MUNDELEIN — After getting off to a sluggish start Friday night, Glenbard North’s defense took control once the going got tough.
The Panthers’ defense forced three huge turnovers — leading to 21 points — en route to a 31-16 nonconference road win over Carmel. But it was a win that didn’t look so certain initially.
Carmel jumped out to an early 6-0 lead on the second play of the game, thanks to a 70-yard run by Tim Serio. The Corsairs added a safety less than three minutes later to make it 8-0 at the end of the first quarter.
But the Panthers (1-1) stole the momentum for good when they tied the score at 7:20 of the second quarter. Glenbard North defensive back Mario Rodriguez picked off a pass by Josh Walinski and raced 44 yards up the left sideline for a touchdown. A 2-point conversion made it 8-8.
“That interception gave us a huge boost, and there was a definite momentum swing after that,” Glenbard North coach Ryan Wilkens said. “It gave us a spark, then we recovered a couple of fumbles. Our defense played outstanding.”
After Rodriguez’s touchdown, the Corsairs lost a fumble — one of four on the night — on their very next play from scrimmage. Less than a minute later, Panthers running back Justin Jackson (27 carries, 168 yards) scored the first of his three touchdowns — this one from a yard out — to make it 14-8 Glenbard North at halftime.
Jackson also scored on a 4-yard run in the third quarter after Carmel’s third turnover, and again on a 17-yard scamper early in the fourth. Of his 168 yards, 106 came in the second half as the Panthers grew stronger on both sides of the ball.
“Our defense was really solid after the first few series out there,” Jackson said. “I think the biggest key for me, personally, was our offensive line. They gave some huge pushes out there and kept (the Corsairs) on their heels. We just became more and more determined as the game went on.”
Carmel coach Andy Bitto didn’t mince words when evaluating his 0-2 team’s performance after the game.
“Two weeks in a row, our defense played awesome,” Bitto said. “We gave 17 points away last week (from turnovers) … probably 20. We gave 21 away (vs. Glenbard North). We can’t play (against) good teams like that. We’ve got to address our turnovers, and turnovers for points — that simple.”