With 22 incomplete passes, 9 penalties, 5 fumbles and 5 punts between them in the first half, it appeared neither St. Charles North nor Elgin was particularly interested in taking command of a game the North Stars led 9-7 at halftime Friday night.
But the North Stars put the ball in the hands of junior tailback George Edlund in the second half and all of those bad vibes went away in a 37-13 rout that gave St. Charles North its first win of the season and in Upstate Eight River action in St. Charles.
It was an expected result, considering Edlund either set, or at least flirted with, a school record by scoring 3 touchdowns and carrying the ball 37 times for 267 yards with 189 of those coming in the second half when he bolted for fourth-quarter TD runs of 42 and 39 yards to seal the victory.
"We've been waiting for the offense to click all season and the offensive line did a tremendous job, and that's the reason we won tonight," Edlund said. "We've been talking about finish, finish, finish in the second half and it finally came together. It may be coming a little too late (in the season), but we're going to build on it."
Edlund was mostly building on his rushing statistics, after finishing the North Stars' opening drive of the game with a 3-yard scoring plunge, he went to the locker room at halftime with 78 yards.
St. Charles North (1-5, 1-2) nursed that 9-7 lead after Micheal Schroeder added a 27-yard field goal and Elgin tallied when quarterback Ryan Sitter fired a 28-yard bullet to a wide open Gage Teschner for a second-quarter touchdown.
Even though Edlund didn't finish off the North Stars' 62-yard scoring drive to open the second half, he ran the ball eight straight times to set up quarterback Ryan Fischbach's 17-yard touchdown toss to Patrick Donlevy for a 16-7 lead.
In the meantime, the North Stars defense was busy stifling Elgin running star Dennis Moore, holding him to minus-3 yards in the second half and all but putting an end to any offense for the Maroons.
Elgin (1-5, 0-4) had only one first down in the second half and tallied its only touchdown on an 84-yard kickoff return by Moore in the fourth quarter.
After Fischbach found William Ohlrich with a 20-yard touchdown pass, the show was all about Edlund with his two long scoring scampers in the fourth quarter.
Elgin coach Dave Bierman knew that if either team could establish a ground game, it would take command.
"When you run the ball well like they did, it is hard to come back against that," Bierman said.
"You are never as bad as your record, and they have a good team. Up front, we just have some inconsistencies."
With Edlund leading the charge, the North Stars rushed for 313 yards on their way to 445 total yards and 18 first downs in the game.