After slow start, Fitz Stadler leads Glenbrook South football team past Niles North

SHARE After slow start, Fitz Stadler leads Glenbrook South football team past Niles North
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SKOKIE — Fitz Stadler couldn’t have gotten off to a much worse start Friday.

The Glenbrook South quarterback’s first pass was picked off. Stadler then threw four consecutive incompletions. But the 6-8 senior settled down soon after that and ended the half by throwing back-to-back touchdowns. That helped the Titans roll to a 51-7 victory over Niles North.

Glenbrook South coach Mike Noll said Stadler showed his leadership by bouncing back from that early turnover.

“He came right back and got us rolling on the next series,” Noll said. “He’s really good at executing our offense, really consistent. He’s done a good job for us this year.”

Stadler’s night was done after his third touchdown pass, which came on the first series of the third quarter. After four runs in a row, he sold the ball fake and connected with senior tight end Sean McDonagh for a 21-yard score. Both of McDonagh’s catches went for touchdowns.

Glenbrook South ran its record to 4-0 as Stadler finished 5-for-12 for 112 yards with three touchdowns and one interception. For the season, he’s 35-for-76 for 610 yards with eight touchdowns and two interceptions.

“I’ve worked really hard in practice about better ways to attack every defense we face,” Stadler said.

Senior Chase Daniel was the main target in the first half, catching all three passes for 79 yards and a touchdown. The 6-1, 176-pound receiver is tops on the Titans with 21 receptions for 371 yards and two touchdowns.

Although Stadler doesn’t throw to McDonagh much, but the two make the passes count. Six of McDonagh’s seven catches have gone for touchdowns.

This is scheduled to be Stadler’s last season of competitive football after he verbally committed to play baseball for Arizona State in early August. He said he got some recruiting attention for football, but he received no offers. Noll is convinced Stadler could play football at a big-time program, if that is what he wanted to do.

“Football is a different thing,” Noll said. “Those coaches want you to be exclusive with football, but he’s a multi-sport athlete. I have no doubt he could play Division I football.”

Stadler, who’s been playing football since fifth grade, said he’s making the most of his final football season. The Titans are 4-0 for the second time in two seasons and two wins away from automatically qualifying for the playoffs.

“I’m definitely enjoying every single step of this,” Stadler said. “We are still trying to get better every day.”

Niles North

• The Vikings dropped their second game in a row and fell to 2-2 on the season. They were outscored 85-13 by New Trier and Glenbrook South, two CSL South opponents.

• Junior running back Barrington Wade, the team’s leading rusher from a year ago, played his first game of the season after breaking his toe the week of the opener. The 6-1, 208-pounder ran for 45 yards on 10 carries. He also caught a screen pass for 17 yards.

• The Vikings broke the shutout on junior Markhus Taylor’s 11-yard touchdown pass to senior Isaiah Tate with 4:56 remaining in the fourth quarter. Taylor came on in relief of senior starting quarterback Anthony Granato in the fourth quarter.

• Niles North couldn’t convert junior defensive back Richard Azunna’s interception in the first quarter into points, even though the Vikings had first down on Glenbrook South’s 10-yard line. Niles North lost three yards on three plays before bobbling the snap on a 31-yard field-goal attempt. Glenbrook South made the Vikings pay by scoring its first touchdown on the next possession. Following the turnover, the Titans scored on their next four drives to end the half ahead 30-0.

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