Vernon Hills hosts North for first game of the season


Chris Filas

The football team gets ready to play against Vernon Hills on Friday, Aug. 19.

On Friday, August 26th, it was the first game of the year for Grayslake North varsity football. North played on the road at Vernon Hills as it was their senior night as both stands were crowded with fans. It was the first game of the season, and for some players, their first time playing varsity football. 

“Our game plan defensively was to be physical,” said sophomore cornerback Mitch Hughes. “We knew that they were a run-heavy team, so we knew we had to be physical up front and wear them out throughout the game.”

“The game plan was to just stick to our strengths and play our game,” said sophomore wide receiver Cam Bates. “We saw some holes in their defense that we could really exploit and we did a great job.”

At the start of the game, senior quarterback Jacob Donohue completes a pass to senior receiver Deandre Neely for a 70 yard touchdown. Then after the interception from junior safety Carter Barenboum, the offense gets the ball right back. Donohue then completes another pass to Bates for a 30 yard touchdown. When halftime hit, the team was up 24-6.

“My highlight of the game was definitely my touchdown,” Bates said. It was my first touchdown on varsity in my first varsity game, and it was just a really special moment.”

During the second half, Vernon Hills responded with two touchdowns before the fourth quarter hit. The team was only up by 3 when Donohue completed another pass for a touchdown. As the clock winds down, the defense secures the win with two fumble recovers. North seals the game with a score of 38-26 upsetting Vernon Hills. 

“It felt really good to upset them. I don’t think a lot of people were expecting that because of our record last year,” Hughes said.

Bates caught four passes for 61 yards and a touchdown for his first varsity football game.

“It felt amazing to win against them,” Bates said. “We all knew we could do it if we just played disciplined.”

Dovel is top 50 in the state for tackles with 8 in the first game opener.

“It felt amazing to make them regret choosing us as their senior night,” Dovel said.