Plainfield North’s first big play was a shocker.
Joliet West had started well over the first few possessions and seemed to be hanging in with its unbeaten opponent. And then suddenly, Plainfield North junior Braxton Bartz was as open as any receiver has ever been on a football field.
Senior quarterback Demir Ashiru found him for a 61-yard touchdown pass.
“It’s a little nerve racking [throwing to someone that wide open] because you don’t want to leave it too short,” Ashiru said. “We watched film, and we knew the safety would play down and out so I just waited for him to get open.”
The big plays continued as visiting Plainfield North rolled to a 48-0 running-clock win against Joliet West.
Ashiru connected with senior Sean Schlanser on a 57-yard touchdown in the first quarter and then Plainfield North’s defense got involved.
Senior Jason O’Boye and senior Logan Rooney each returned interceptions for touchdowns in the first half. Plainfield North led 42-0 at halftime.
“This was their first home game, and we knew they were hungry for a win and we just wanted to establish our dominance,” Ashiru said.
Ashiru threw three touchdown passes and passed for more than 230 yards on fewer than a dozen attempts.
“[Demir] is one of the better quarterbacks in the area,” Plainfield North coach Anthony Imbordino said. “He’s very efficient, he’s smart. He gets the open guy. I lot of times high school quarterbacks miss the open guy. He gets them every time and he’s a great leader.”
Plainfield North (3-0) opened some eyes with a win against Naperville Central last week and has established itself as the early favorite in the Southwest Prairie.
“We’re putting so much work in and we have such high expectations it feels really good to see it played out on the field,” Ashiru said.
Joliet West (0-3) had its offense humming early in the first quarter behind quarterback Carl Bew, but things fell apart for the Tigers on both sides of the ball after Plainfield North’s first two big plays.
“We’re proud of the way our kids are performing and executing,” Imbordino said. “We have a big crosstown game [next weekend] against Plainfield South. We have a long journey ahead of us once we get into conference play.”