GRAYSLAKE — It was a long time coming, but Grayslake Central found a way to take bragging rights away from Grayslake North for the first time in a number of years.
The Rams pulled away in the second half and held off the visiting Knights, 28-25, in the Northern Lake County Conference opener on Friday night.
“I looked at the crosstown rival trophy and it’s been a decade since it’s been on this side of town,” Grayslake Central coach Mike Maloney said. “For this community, for the kids, for the student body, it’s a really good victory. Being 3-0 feels good. Obviously, the coach in me doesn’t want to rest on our laurels. We know that we really have a solid Wauconda (3-0) team on the horizon. I’m happy for our kids for their performance and to beat their rival at home and knock off some of the goals on the goal board.”
Grayslake Central had a 7-3 lead at the break and pushed the lead out to 14-3 with 4:04 left in the third quarter on Jerimiah Poyser’s 36-yard run.
“I get the ball and look for the holes,” said Poyser, who had 17 carries and 115 yards. “Whatever is there is there and I try to make a play. The offensive line opens up, so I can see the gaps on the field. That really gets me going.”
Poyser added another rushing touchdown from 24 yards in the fourth quarter and Darryl Overstreet Jr. also scored on a 14-yard run that extended the lead out to 28-11 with 7:36 left in the fourth quarter. Overstreet Jr. also had an earlier rushing score from a yard out. Grayslake North (0-3, 0-1) tried to rally with a couple of late scores. Jack Kukis caught a 33-yard pass from Jacob Donohue with 6:07 left and Ryan Page also caught one from 22 yards that cut the lead down to 3.
The Knights early in the third quarter had a 50-yard touchdown pass waived off for an illegal motion penalty and then a few plays later they couldn’t covert a 30-yard field goal.
“I would’ve like to scored more earlier in the game,” Grayslake North coach Corey Atwell said. “If we did get that field goal there, we could’ve had a tie ballgame. That was big. We’re a bit banged up and that’s no excuse. But we played hard and gave them a pretty good game.”
Donohue was 25-for-47 passing for 398 yards, three touchdown passes and one interception. Nathan Atwell caught 11 passes for 174 yards.