The balance of football power in the Village of Grayslake swings like a pendulum. From 2008-2011, it was Grayslake Central High School that won four straight games over crosstown rival Grayslake North.
But now, the pendulum has swung the other way, and in the case of Friday’s ninth meeting, it has swung way the other way.
Visiting North scored eight first-half touchdowns and Central had four first-half turnovers as the Knights built a 55-0 halftime lead and went on to post a 61-13 victory in a Fox Valley Conference Fox Division game.
The winners (5-3, 4-1) are now eligible for the playoffs for the third straight year. Central is 0-8 under first year coach Jason Schall.
As is the case every week for North, senior running back Titus Booker led the way. He carried 13 times for 145 yards and scored on runs of 27, 16, 25 and 18 yards.
North’s other points came on a 17-yard run by QB Merrick Gentile, a 53-yard pass from Gentile (7-of-9, 134 yards) to Brad Baker, a 25-yard pick six by sophomore Dami Oladunmoye, a 1-yard run by Oladunmoye, and a 4-yard run by Joe Gary.
Central’s TDs came on a 29-yard pass from Luke Shepherd to Mitchell Gilbert and a 14-yard run by Kevin Dunk.
“We came out and played pretty well,” said North coach Steve Wood. “Central held Booker to a couple yards early, but then he got going and the pick-six kind of blew things open.”
Next up for the Knights is a key league game with Woodstock North. Both teams are 4-1 in the division.
“We control our own destiny,” said Wood, “but they are saying the same thing. They’re a pretty good team, they’re hungry and they need to win to have a chance (to make the playoffs).
Woodstock North is 4-4 after its Friday loss to Prairie Ridge and must beat Grayslake North to be eligible for the playoffs.
Meanwhile, Booker is excited about the chance to beat Woodstock North and share the division title with Prairie Ridge — a team the Knights beat this season.
“I think we’re peaking at the right time,” Booker said. “I’m excited to go into next week and play Woodstock North. We’ve been focused in practice and I think that will continue, especially since we’re working toward making the playoffs.”