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Gehr-Stacho combination helps Naperville North roll
By Mike Krizman | Daily Herald Correspondent
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Published: 9/24/2011 1:55 AM

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The Naperville North quarterback-wide receiver combo of Tyler Gehr and Matt Stacho clicked on all cylinders right from the Huskies' opening drive, and they had the numbers to back it up.

Behind 230 passing yards from Gehr and 175 receiving yards from Stacho, the Huskies jumped out to an early lead and never looked back during a 45-7 Homecoming victory over West Chicago on Friday night.

A 5-play, 81-yard opening drive saw Gehr and Stacho connect three times. The end result was a 62-yard touchdown down reception by Stacho and a 7-0 lead.

"Matt and Tyler are really close friends and they work well together," Naperville North coach Sean Drendel said. "We were able to do some things tonight that we haven't been able to do in the past."

Gehr completed his first nine passes of the game, including five straight on the Huskies' second offensive possession. Four receivers caught passes on the drive, including two by Stacho. But it was running back Danny Puknaitis who found the end zone, marching in from 6 yards out to give his team a 14-0 lead.

"We played all four quarters this time, which is something that the coaching staff has been preaching to us all season," Stacho said. "It was great to get a win in front of all the former players who came back to watch us tonight."

The Huskies (3-2, 2-1) were given a short field on their third scoring drive midway through the second quarter, starting at the West Chicago 27-yard line. On the third play of the series, a West Chicago facemask penalty moved the ball down to the 8-yard line, where two plays later, Gehr scored his first rushing touchdown of the night to put his team up 21-0.

A 5-yard touchdown run by Gehr with five seconds left in the half gave the Huskies a 28-0 halftime lead.

West Chicago was held to just 81 total yards of offense in the first half, with 48 of them coming on a run up the middle by fullback Nick Sanzeri on the second play of the game.

"Our defensive coordinator, Anthony Silvestri, has done a great job all year," Drendel said. "Other than our first game of the year, we've tackled really well and our defense has been very physical up front."

Gehr threw his second touchdown pass in the third quarter, this time to Dominic Imburgia, to go along with a 26-yard field goal by Ron Coluzzi, making the score 38-0.

West Chicago (0-5, 0-3) finally got on the scoreboard late in the game on a 1-yard quarterback sneak by Matt Green.

"They were bigger and faster than we were at the point of attack," West Chicago coach Paul Reinke said of Naperville North. "Any push that we got, they were fast enough to rush us down. They're an athletic and physical defense."

Naperville North running back Justin Williams sneaked his way through the line of scrimmage and scampered 62 yards for the game's final touchdown.