It's a rerun Wheaton Warrenville South's football team would prefer not to watch.
But here it is again: A winless Tigers team after Friday's 19-13 loss to Maine South in Wheaton.
While there's solace in losing Glenbard West, perhaps the top team in Class 7A, and the Hawks (2-0), arguably the best team in 8A, repeating last year's 0-2 start was not the plan for WW South.
Even though the Tigers eventually advanced to last year's 7A final, they know they've got a tough road ahead entering DuPage Valley Conference play.
"We just need to focus," said Tigers receiver Corey Davis, who had 6 catches for 77 yards and an 89-yard kick return. "We can play with these guys. They're really good, but I think we could have beaten them."
For the second straight week stats alone did not tell the story of WW South's defeat. While the Tigers surrendered 254 of Maine South's 402 yards on the ground, they also piled up 305 total yards of their own.
The difference? The Tigers' red-zone inefficiency and Maine South quarterback Matt Alviti pulling just enough rabbits out of his helmet. Time and again the Northwestern-bound senior got himself out of trouble and converted big plays.
Alviti scored on a 7-yard second-quarter run for the game's first touchdown. After Michael Bosco's interception at the start of the second half, Alviti added a 39-yard scoring run to put Maine South ahead 13-7.
Nine minutes later Alviti fired an 11-yard strike to Bosco to give the Hawks a 19-7 advantage heading to the fourth quarter. Alviti completed 16 of 29 passes for 148 yards and rushed for 96 yards.
"We knew they were going to bring the pressure all day coming off the edge, coming off the middle," Alviti said. "They did a great job defensively. Luckily we had a couple big plays and we executed real well."
WW South put together a 9-play, 65-yard drive at the end of the first half to tie the game 7-7. Tigers quarterback Ryan Graham, who completed 14 of 34 passes for 170 yards and rushed for 55 yards on 17 carries, threw a 12-yard touchdown pass to Brandon Moore.
After a pair of Maine South third-quarter scores, Graham tossed a 4-yard scoring pass to Cole Krynicki on the game's last play. The Tigers failed on two first-and-goal situations and turned the ball over three times.
"I'm very proud of our kids' effort tonight," said Tigers coach Ron Muhitch. "So I'm very pleased with that part but we've got to stop beating ourselves."
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