ROCKFORD A couple of bad bounces, and a whole lot of Tyreis Thomas, did in Wheaton North on Saturday.
Rockford Boylan's senior tailback accounted for 330 total yards and 4 touchdowns as the Titans downed the Falcons 37-20 in the second round of the Class 7A playoffs in Rockford.
Wheaton North's John Peltz passed for 314 yards and 3 scores.
The Falcons overcame a slow start to get within 30-20 in the third quarter, but a muffed punt and a tipped pass for an interception were too much to overcome.
After Peltz's 70-yard strike to Micah Penn made it 23-13 late in the third quarter, the Falcons appeared to stop the Titans on their next possession. But Sean Slattery's short punt hit the helmet of a Wheaton North upback and the Titans recovered. Five plays later, on the last play of the quarter, Thomas raced 52 yards down the left sideline top put Boylan on top 30-13.
Then trailing 37-20 late in the game, the Falcons had one last chance to get back in the game, but Peltz's pass from the 5-yard line was tipped and intercepted by Peter Cimino in the end zone.
Earlier, the Falcons had dug themselves a 23-0 hole thanks largely to dropped passes and missed tackles.
"We did it to ourselves," said Wheaton North coach Joe Wardynski. "We missed too many tackles early on. I thought we had bodies in the right position, we just couldn't wrap up.
"We did some good things offensively, though."
The Falcons grabbed some momentum with a scoring drive just before halftime. Running the hurry-up offense to perfection, Peltz completed 6 straight passes, the last to Johnny Daniels for a score to make it 23-7.
Wheaton North kept the pressure on after intermission, with Peltz hitting Penn on a short crossing route near midfield and Penn taking it all the way.
Matt Biegalski also caught a scoring pass, but the Titans shut down the Falcons' running game. Wheaton North gained just 41 yards on 19 carries.
Boylan quarterback Lamont Toney completed 8 of 15 for 125 yards and a touchdown. Thomas had 288 yards on the ground and caught the touchdown pass, a 42-yarder.
"I think I'm gonna go home and relax and feel good about what I did today," said Thomas, "but I've also got to give the offensive line a lot of credit."