Wheaton Warrenville South happy with offense
Last football season senior running back Prince Lankah and his fellow Wheaton Warrenville South offensive teammates were not completely satisfied with their opening victory over Metea Valley.
They scored no touchdowns. Most of the Tigers' points came from an IHSA single-game record 8 field goals by current senior and Michigan State recruit Jack Olsen.
"That was crazy," Lankah said. "We weren't happy with that (offensively). We came into this game, our offense had to step up and score. That's what we did."
On Friday an Olsen 31-yard field goal again accounted for the first 3 points, but the Tigers followed that impressively with touchdowns on their next seven possessions in a 52-8 victory over Metea in Aurora.
Lankah and Jake Arthurs each rushed for 2 TDs and Arthurs had a third score on a 28-yard TD pass play from quarterback Parker Brown, who also had a rushing TD. Reserve running back Derek Almada scored in the third quarter after the Tigers established a running clock with their 45-0 halftime lead.
"Our performance was great. Our offense looked good. Running the ball was good. It's all credit to the O-line," Lankah said. "I was ready to score. I was like, 'Coach. Give me the ball. I'm ready to go in.' And he did give me the ball."
Playing only in the first half, Lankah contributed 93 rushing yards and Arthurs 70 to the Tigers' 253 total yards of offense by halftime. As the game progressed, their veteran interior linemen took over with center Bryce Sutfin and guards Pano Pitouli and Drake Jurcak opening huge holes along with tackles Max Jablonski, Nick Walker and Kyler Nielsen and all-conference tight end Jason Haw.
Even with several new faces, the defense held Metea to negative yardage in the first half and collected three turnovers in all.
"I'm actually pleased with both (sides)," WW South coach Ron Muhitch said.
"We knew we had a good, strong offensive line and two good running backs. But you never know how good you are, especially against a stacked 3-3 defense. Our defense has a lot of question marks, a lot of replacement, first-year kids. Take away that 80-yard (TD) run, we played pretty well on defense."
Last season's Class 7A quarterfinalists had a turnover ratio of plus-31. Right after the Tigers took a 17-0 lead early in the second quarter, the Mustangs had trouble collecting the ensuing kickoff and senior Will Cassin soon had the first turnover of 2019 with a fumble recovery at the 9.
Juniors Max Wilson and Ryan Frank, both varsity newcomers in the secondary, each had interceptions.
Metea still showed plenty of spirit in John Parpet's debut as coach and avoided a shutout like last year's 26-0 result.
Metea received the opening kickoff for the second half, and senior C.J. Wilcox electrified the crowd on Senior Night with an 80-yard TD run on a right-end sweep and a 2-point conversion run.
In all, Parpet said 15 of his starters played both ways.
"That's where we're at right now in the program. We've got to have our best guys on the field," Parpet said. "I thought that early on we had some really good fight and we didn't make the plays. I thought the kids continued to compete really, really hard and it's back to the drawing board."