Wheaton North knocks St. Charles East out of 1st place
Wheaton North played the spoiler role to the hilt Friday night at Norris Stadium.
The Falcons ruined St. Charles East's senior night and dimmed its hopes for a DuKane Conference crown with a 24-19 victory over the Saints.
Wheaton North's first touchdown of the evening gave an indication that it would be the Falcons' night.
On St. Charles East's first possession, the Saints advanced to Wheaton North's 14 yard line. Facing fourth down, St. Charles East attempted a field goal. Wheaton North blocked the kick, and Zach Lorentsen picked up the loose ball at the 20-yard line and returned it for a touchdown.
"It was a good win for our program. We have been close, but we haven't been able to get over the hump. We have been preaching that good things will happen," said Wheaton North coach Joe Wardynski. "We talked about special teams maybe being the difference in the game and maybe it was."
St. Charles East (6-2, 4-2) pulled within a point at the end of the first quarter, scoring on an 8-yard pass from Nathan Hayes (8 for 23 for 136 yards) to Clayton Conn. The PAT failed. The Falcons widened the lead to 10-6 on their first possession of the second quarter on a 31-yard Nathan Love field goal.
The Saints took a 13-10 lead with 4:37 left in the half when Hayes connected with Nathan Hull for an 8-yard TD toss. Hull had 5 receptions for 69 yards.
Wheaton North (4-4, 2-4) regained the lead, 17-13, with 15.4 seconds left in the half on a 16-yard Mark Forcucci pass to Ben Bonga.
Neither team scored in the third quarter. Using its running game, Wheaton North controlled the ball for most the second half.
Running back Brayton Maske provided most of the offense, The sophomore rushed 25 times for 98 yards before he injured his knee late in the fourth quarter.
"They played a great game. They controlled most of the game," St. Charles East coach Bryce Farquhar said. "I thought they did a great job of controlling the clock. Their time of possession was huge."
The Falcons widened their lead late to 24-13 in the fourth quarter. Love, who took over for Mask, scored on a 2-yard run with 1:43 left to play.
Forty-two seconds later, the Saints made it a one score game, 24-19, when Hayes connected with Hull for a 7-yard TD pass. The two-point conversion failed when Colton Conn (100 yards on 18 carries) was tackled just before the goal line.