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Wheaton North center Jesse Dean has no problem putting the football in quarterback Clayton Thorson's hands.
"Oh yeah, very comfortable," Dean said. "He's a heck of a quarterback."
The Northwestern recruit threw 3 touchdown passes, and his 10-yard touchdown run with 55.2 seconds remaining salted away a 31-17 Falcons victory against Naperville Central on Friday night in Wheaton.
Thorson threw for 321 yards in the game and carried the ball 23 times for 54 yards.
"Clayton did a lot of good things tonight," Falcons coach Joe Wardynski said. "We're blessed to have a kid that we can put the ball in his hands and he's usually going to make good decisions for you. He made plays with his feet tonight as well as his arm."
"He made some plays," Redhawks coach Mike Stine added. "I don't know how many third downs they converted, but they converted a ton of them. And he made plays. He's a great player. Unfortunately, we played against two great players (Glenbard North's Justin Jackson) the last two weeks."
The teams were tied at 10 when Wheaton North took the lead for good with 1:42 to play before halftime on a 55-yard TD pass to receiver Matt Biegalski.
"That was nice," Wardynski said. "... We were fortunate to be up a score at the half, and then we outplayed them by a score in the second half."
"Penalties killed us on offense," Dean said. "We have to clean that up before next week. But besides that I thought we really good on the offensive side."
Meanwhile, the Falcons defense held Naperville Central to just 10 yards rushing, 252 through the air.
"They really didn't try to run the ball a whole lot," Wardynski said. "The few that they did we did a nice job against and maybe that just convinced them that they were just going to go ahead and try to throw it."
It was the third consecutive narrow loss for Naperville Central, which meets cross-town rival Naperville North next Friday at North Central College.
"We just didn't get enough plays made, offense, defense or special teams," Stine said. "We'll keep fighting, we'll keep battling and we'll show up and play Naperville North next week and it'll be a great game, a great rivalry game."
Follow Orrin on Twitter @orrin_schwarz