Wheaton North tops Lake Park, now 2-0

By Chris Walker
Daily Herald Correspondent
Updated 3/26/2021 10:58 PM

Wheaton North junior running back Brayton Maske apparently spent a lot of time at the dinner table and in the weight room during the extended off-season.

On Friday, he found himself celebrating in the end zone after a pair of touchdown runs in the first half as the Falcons jumped all over host Lake Park with a 50-7 DuKane Conference victory in Roselle.


"From last year to this year I put on 20 pounds," he said. "I've been eating a lot and lifting. I feel like I've gotten faster too. I broke a run one time and turned to my lineman and said, 'I feel like I can break tackles now.' That's a big change from last year to this year. The weight (gain) has definitely helped me."

Listed at 5-foot-9, 180 pounds, Maske (12 carries, 126 yards) opened up the scoring for a Falcons' offense that scored touchdowns on their first five possessions. Maske ran in a pair while junior quarterback Mark Forcucci tossed two touchdowns and added a 1-yard keeper in the first half as the Falcons soared to a 36-0 halftime lead.

"This whole week leading up to this game tonight we put in some new stuff, we repped a lot of things, but we had some practices that were only so-so," Forcucci said. "So we really bounced back as a team and made sure we came out sharp tonight and started out fast."

Fast is a good word to describe Maske as he saw an opening on the first play of Wheaton North's third possession of the game and turned it into a 66-yard touchdown run up the middle in a blink of an eye.

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"It was blocked out perfectly by my offensive line," he said. "They did a great job this game. I just saw the hole and hit it and ran."

Providing Forcucci plenty of time to allow the offense to do what it aimed to do, the O-line dominated all night long.

"Everybody knows that the football play starts up front with the O-line and my O-line are so good, they're so talented," Forcucci said. "You got a bunch of big guys and we got a smaller guy at left guard (senior Mason Shroff) and he's an absolute dog. He gets it done. They're all great athletes that get the job done up front."

Lake Park (0-2, 0-2) moved the ball, getting first downs on its first three possessions, but didn't score until a 1-yard touchdown run from Micah Flagg (18 carries, 77 yards) with 2 seconds left in the third quarter.

Wheaton North added a pair of touchdowns in the fourth quarter, a 15-yard strike from backup quarterback Quinn Flanagan to Ryan Burke and a 12-yard run from Devon Neal.

Forcucci's touchdown passes in the first half included a nice catch and run of 33 yards to Seth Kortenhoeven and a 31-yard strike to Rex Kroger which came on the first play of the Falcons' fourth possession.

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