Buffalo Grove hosted Wheeling in a homecoming football game between neighborhood rivals which concluded with a fireworks display.
However, the fireworks on the field came from Wheeling's running game as it spoiled the Buffalo Grove homecoming plans 31-14 on Friday at Grant Blaney Stadium.
The running lanes opened up for Wildcats senior running back Ed Scanlon (23 carries, 215 yards, 2 touchdowns) and senior quarterback Tyler Brady (18 carries, 105 yards, 2 TDs).
"We watched film all week," Brady said. "The offensive line played great. They gave us a lot of big blocks which gave holes for Eddie (Scanlon) to run in. There's nothing better than beating Buffalo Grove on their homecoming."
The Wildcats (2-6, 1-3) punched in a 9-yard gain by Brady to go up 6-0 early in the first quarter.
Wheeling's defense prevailed on a late-half Bison possession as senior strong safety Leo Giordano snagged an acrobatic interception, which led to Scanlon's second score.
As the clock ticked away in the first half, BG (1-7, 0-4) finally answered with a rushing touchdown by Rich Zirngibl for 1 yard.
"I wasn't just running," Scanlon said. "I got great blocks. We've got to keep working hard. We're going to spend the rest of the year working to get more wins."
Scanlon punched in his second touchdown from 1 yard out to push the lead to 18-7.
"Our kids fight real hard despite our record," said BG coach Jim Farrell. "We were pretty much in the game until the fourth quarter. We can't have so many penalties and turnovers, because competitive MSL teams will not let you get away with that.
"You got to give credit to Wheeling. They took advantage of our turnovers and took our running game away from us. We'll keep fighting and play tough through the rest of the year."
BG found success through the air late when Zirngibl connected with senior tight end Ryan Inlow for 53 yards.Receiver Ryan Schumi (9 catches, 90 yards) caught a touchdown pass from Zirngibl (15-for-25, 201 yards; 9 carries, 85 yards).
Brady sealed it in the fourth by running for a TD and hitting Charlie Kirk for a 9-yard score.
"It was an all-around great effort," said Wheeling coach Dave Dunbar. "Eddie (Scanlon) and Tyler (Brady) ran hard. The front line pushed BG's line and made holes for them to run. Our defense stepped up when they needed too and special teams came around.
"These guys work hard. (Wheeling) will battle and keep playing to the finish the year on a positive note."