Wheaton North wide receiver J.P. Forcucci said coach Joe Wardynski made it clear before Saturday night's season opener at home against Cary-Grove that the Falcons have to always be ready to play.
"It was a hard week of practice. Coach made it clear that we can't go through the motions," Forcucci said.
And the Falcons certainly didn't as they won big 42-18 with quarterback Clayton Thorson throwing 3 touchdown passes to Forcucci and 2 to Matt Biegalski and Wheaton North racking up almost 400 yards of offense.
After Cary-Grove's Jason Gregoire opened the game with a 26-yard touchdown run, the first touchdown runs by him, the Falcons responded with 28 unanswered points to take a 28-6 halftime lead.
Trojans coach Brad Seaburg said that despite the team's youth after a senior-dominated team placed second in state last season in Class 6A, he expects Cary-Grove to make an impact this season.
"We told the kids that there is no learning curve when you play a team like Wheaton North to start the season. We expect to win and we're disappointed that we didn't win," he said.
Seven Wheaton North players caught at least one pass on Saturday night.
"It helps that Clayton hooked up with Matt a few times tonight. But if a team wants to take our best receiver out we have other guys to step up and that happened tonight," Wardynski said.
After Gregoire's second touchdown late in the third quarter, the Trojans had their best momentum of the night. On Wheaton North's subsequent drive, a high snap on the punt put Cary-Grove on the Falcons 19, but the drive stalled out on the 1-yard line.
Early in the fourth quarter Thorson connected to Biegalski for a 73-yard highlight touchdown. Just 14 seconds later, Tyler Gabriele recovered a fumble on the Trojans' first play of their drive for a touchdown and Wheaton North sped away after that.
"(Thorson) throws the ball well and locates well. They have a lot of guys (receivers) that are on good on the perimeters," Seaburg said.