After lopsided losses to Glenbrook South and New Trier, the Niles North football team came into its contest against Maine West with something to prove.
The Vikings responded Friday with the biggest scoring output in Mark Egofske’s 11 years as a head coach — at Niles North the last three years and Niles West before that — as they routed Maine West 65-26 in a Central Suburban North game in Des Plaines.
“We haven’t played well against the supposedly good teams, New Trier, Glenbrook South,” Egofske said. “There was some anger in the kids.”
The players didn’t want those back-to-back defeats to get in the way of the expectations they set after Niles North (3-2, 1-0) started the season with victories over Shepard and Niles West.
“After those two losses the team was down,” Niles North quarterback Tony Granato said. “The captains said if we win conference, we don’t have to worry about playoff points.”
“Niles North has not been to the playoffs in  years,” running back Barrington Wade added. “If we put out heart into it, we can make it happen.”
Wade, who missed the first three games with a broken toe and was barely out of a boot for the Glenbrook South contest, was at full speed against Maine West with 338 all-purpose yards and five touchdowns. The junior carried the ball 25 times for 273 yards and scored on two runs of 56 yards.
“It was my second game of the season, and my toe healed perfectly,” Wade said.
It was the best game of Wade’s career, according to Egofske. Wade practiced for the first time after the injury on Sept. 17, just a couple of days before the Glenbrook South game.
“He was pretty sore [against Glenbrook South],” Egofske said. “He needed time to recover.”
Granato credited a good week of practice to the team’s prolific scoring. He completed 15 of 18 passes for 262 yards and three touchdowns.
“I watched a lot of film and felt comfortable with the game plan,” Granato said. “My line gave me plenty of time to complete my passes.”
The Vikings will try to sustain their momentum when they host Maine East (1-4, 0-1) at 7 p.m. Friday.