Sophomore Ethan Thulin showcases his bright future for Downers Grove North in close loss to Oak Park-River Forest

DOWNERS GROVE – Only a sophomore, Ethan Thulin already doesn’t come off the field very often for the Downers Grove North football team.

If Friday is any indication, that’s good news for the Trojans, not so much for their opponents over the next two seasons.

Providing a glimpse of the future, Thulin hauled in five catches for 128 yards in a 14-7 West Suburban Silver home loss to Oak Park.

On the freshman squad a year ago alongside quarterback Sam Reichert, Thulin also plays cornerback and returns kickoffs and punts. His last reception was a 48-yard touchdown from Reichert on a go-route that sliced the deficit in half with 3:42 left in the fourth quarter.

“It doesn’t give me time to think about things,” Thulin said about playing in all three phases of the game. “That’s when things can get to your head. I think that’s a big advantage.

“Sam and I went to elementary school together so we have always been playing catch and practicing together. We’ve got that connection. We just started out too slow (tonight). We should have come out from the beginning, hopefully we can be better next week.”

Coming out slow was to be expected for DGN (1-1), which was playing its first game since a 55-0 victory over Proviso East back in the season opener on March 19.

The Trojans trailed 14-0 at halftime but made things interesting in the end, driving down to the Huskies 31-yard line in the closing seconds.

“That says a lot about the kids,” DGN coach Joe Horeni said. “They had every excuse to hand their heads; we hadn’t played in two weeks, they had played three straight. I’ll say this about our group, they want to compete and they want to win.

“We’ve got a great mix of classes. We’ve got a lot of good seniors on the offensive and defensive lines. We’ve got some juniors at linebacker and then a lot of our skills players are young kids. We started six sophomores tonight. This was a good opportunity to learn some lessons and now we get the opportunity to go against LT next week.”

Horeni especially pointed to Brendan Truett and Drew Bielawski, who play both ways for the Trojans on the line.

“In this league, that is tough to do,” Horeni said. “I can’t say enough about them, they are who you want in football players.”

Reichert threw for 190 yards while junior Kenan Gaston rushed for 58 yards on 14 carries. Fellow sophomore Joshua Miller also had four catches for 35 yards and senior Azriel Hernandez totaled three for 20 yards.

Defensively Daniel Bancoro had an interception which set up the Trojans’ score and Eric Petrousek contributed a sack.