Wilson, WW South pick up win over Wheaton North
At 6-foot-4, Wheaton Warrenville South junior cornerback Max Wilson looks more like a wide receiver.
On Friday he played like one.
Wilson, a receiver on the lower levels the past two years, made the catch of the night, leaping backward to grab his second interception of the season in the fourth quarter.
Wilson's pick, at his own 15-yard line with 4:05 remaining, sealed the host Tigers' 17-6 victory over cross-town rival Wheaton North at Red Grange Field.
"I knew they were going to do some double moves," Wilson said. "I saw the wheel coming, so I stuck to it and I think the wide receiver didn't think the QB was going to throw it.
"He threw it and I went for it."
Wilson's interception was the highlight of an impressive effort by the WW South defense, which had been shredded, particularly through the air, for 70 points the previous two weeks.
"It was definitely a circus act," WW South linebacker said of Wilson's interception. "He played the right coverage, made a great play on the ball."
The Tigers (4-2, 2-2 DuKane Conference) made plenty of plays. They stuffed the Falcons on the ground and then denied Wheaton North quarterback Mark Forcucci any opportunities to throw it.
Forcucci completed 8 of 18 passes for 56 yards and the Falcons (2-4, 0-4) mustered only 172 yards of offense, 96 of which came on three plays.
"I've got seven juniors on that starting defense," WW South coach Ron Muhitch said. "Our secondary is young and we did some changes.
"We went a little more zone, especially on third down, and it helped those kids. We've been putting them in some stress situations with some man pressure and try to go pressure, and I think they're not ready for it yet."
The Tigers were ready for anything the Falcons threw at them. The visitors broke through only once, but it came after the Tigers had built a 17-0 cushion.
Kaiden Libby gained 37 yards up the right side and Brayton Maske followed by scooting up the middle for a 30-yard touchdown run with 1:15 left in the third quarter. But the Tigers blocked the extra point.
"It seemed like that one drive we got the running game going a little bit, but we do not run the ball well enough to win football games in the DuKane," Wheaton North coach Joe Wardynski said. "We're not doing it.
"Then when we get in third-and-longs, they'll tee off on us. We have to dictate when we want to run and when we want to throw and we're not doing that right now."
But the Tigers did that well, grinding out 273 yards of offense behind a patient, ball-control offense that used the punting of Michigan State-bound kicker Jack Olsen to win the field position battle.
Prince Lankah scored on a 5-yard run in the first quarter and finished with 98 yards rushing on 18 carries and Olsen kicked a 45-yard field goal to give the Tigers a 10-0 lead.
Parker Brown's 43-yard touchdown pass to tight end Jason Haw extended the lead to 17-0 at the 3:24 mark of the third quarter.
"I was happy to see our offense run the ball, be patient with the ball, get some first downs," Muhitch said. "I thought that was key.
"Bottom line, (we) finally (played) a complete game in all three phases and we played four quarters."