De’Angelo Roberson and Storm Simmons

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De’Angelo Roberson and Storm Simmons on Illinois Wesleyan win and strong seasons as members of North Central’s great defense.

The North Central football team’s defense has given up more than one touchdown only once this season, and has yet to give up points in more than a single quarter in any game. As senior leaders with the experience of winning a national championship, Roberson and Simmons are enjoying being part of a defense reaching yet new heights.

“It’s been a lot of fun,” said Simmons. “We have such a veteran group…we expect to go out there and do our jobs.”

“At seven-on-sevens in the summer we talked about the defense we can be,” said Roberson. “We knew we had a lot of veteran guys coming back so it’s really about just getting it done.”

There may have appeared to be more pressure on the defense with the offense’s slow start (just a 13-7 lead at halftime) but Roberson and Simmons said the fact that the team was already in the lead meant they felt they could just focus on their jobs.

“We kept saying ‘if they doing score again, we’re gonna win’,” Simmons said of the defense’s halftime discussions. “There was never any panic.”

“We’ve always got their backs, and we know they’ve always got our backs,” added Roberson.

Simmons is one-third of North Central’s strong starting linebacker corps along with fellow senior Ben Wong and junior Sam Taviani. He said they’ve built great chemistry over time, and combined with how well they all know the team’s defense at this point they’re able to be successful.

Roberson, meanwhile, is the latest star in a secondary that has had no shortage of star performances this year. They’re also a veteran group, and he said that the way they continue to push each other every day has made them all better.