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For the second consecutive week in DuPage Valley Conference football action, no Wheaton North starter played a down in the second half.
The Falcons erupted for 34 points in the second quarter, capped by Northwestern-bound quarterback Clayton Thorson scampering for 53 yards in the waning seconds before halftime, as Wheaton North defeated West Aurora 48-7.
Thorson finished 20 of 25 passing for 210 yards, scoring twice on keepers and an equal number through the air Friday night in Aurora.
"The (West Aurora) corners play off the ball pretty well," said Wheaton North receiver Matt Biegalski, who had 8 catches for 88 yards and a touchdown reception. "Our perimeter blocking (after short catches) was very good. The running backs opened it up for (the receivers) as well."
After failing on fourth down on its second possession, Wheaton North (6-1, 4-1) learned its lesson on its second attempt deep in West Aurora territory.
Thorson connected with Jake Heggeland on 4th-and-1 from the Blackhawks' 12-yard line to break the lone tie of the game, 7-7, late in the first quarter.
West Aurora (1-6, 0-5) gambled in its own territory on 4th-and-inches on its subsequent possession, but a fumbled exchange between the center and quarterback opened the floodgates.
Wheaton North struck for 5 scores over the next 10 minutes to initiate a running clock for the entire second half.
"That's really frustrating to not execute there," West Aurora coach Nate Eimer said of the critical mishap on Blackhawks' own 35-yard line. "The thing is, we took aside 10 minutes (during warm-ups) to work on quarterback sneaks."
Dom Garza had a pair of ground scores for Wheaton North in the second quarter; Dee Alexander moved the pile a yard for another score, and Biegalski hauled in the second Thorson TD connection from 11 yards.
The Wheaton North defense was equally tenacious.
West Aurora would amass but 4 first downs for the entire game; even more telling, the Blackhawks gained more than half of their 159 total yards on one play.
The shining moment for West Aurora took place on the first play from scrimmage.
Freshman DeQuan Cross took a pitch on a wingback reverse and went almost untouched for an 85-yard touchdown run.
"I had some really good blocks," Cross said. "In practice we have this drill where I have to beat one man. I beat that (Wheaton North) man tonight and was off."
JP Forcucci and Alex Alkevicius took over the quarterback duties for Wheaton North in the third and fourth quarters.
"We knew we could be in this sort of (running-clock) situation," Forcucci said. "I took it seriously to protect the ball. Just because you have a big lead doesn't mean you can take a play off."