WW South stops St. Charles North
Both Wheaton Warrenville South and St. Charles North took a little while to get their offenses warmed up Friday night in Wheaton. The Tigers got their offense going sooner and warmer.
WW South clinched an IHSA football playoff berth with a 28-7 victory.
"So excited," Tigers senior tight end Jason Haw said. "Made it last year. Good experience for everyone, all the young guys, to take into next year. It was our senior night tonight, and (we) just didn't want to stop playing football. Excited to keep playing."
The loss almost certainly knocked St. Charles North (4-5, 3-4 DuKane Conference) out of the playoffs a year after the North Stars placed second at state.
"I give our seniors credit, they did a great job for four years," North Stars coach Rob Pomazak said. "Such a great group of young men. It's sad to see it go this way. When you have an opportunity to be in the playoffs. The end of the season wasn't good for us. We suffered some tough losses. It's a hard thing to say goodbye."
WW South (6-3, 4-3) opened the scoring two plays into the second quarter. Running back Jake Arthurs scored on a 1-yard TD plunge, and the Tigers were on their way.
After forcing a three-and-out, WW South came right back at the North Stars. Quarterback Parker Brown hit receiver Jack Olsen for a 33-yard touchdown pass on the fourth play of a 49-yard drive and the Tigers led 14-0 at halftime.
It helped that the Tigers defense held the North Stars to just 2 first downs in the first half. The North Stars again played without injured senior quarterback Kyler Brown.
"We knew we had to key in on their running back, (Nicholas DeMarco), and just try to stop him as a team," Haw said.
The more Tigers coach Ron Muhitch considered his defense, the more impressed he was.
"I think our defense has been growing every week stronger. And we've been playing some tough teams offensively recently and we did a good job of being patient," Muhitch said.
"On the other hand St. Charles North didn't have a quarterback, so it's tough to play football with that kind of limitation. If you take your No. 1 guy out who played in the state championship game last year, it's tough to replace that. You know, credit to them, they've actually been playing some pretty good offense the last few weeks against good teams with the same limitation, so maybe I am a little more proud of our defense than I'm saying because of that."
The Tigers took a 28-0 lead after Tommy Barnett returned an interception 34 yards for a touchdown and quarterback Parker Brown scored on a TD run.
"I thought Parker had a great game," Muhitch said. "... He's got a heart of a champion. He's a really solid kid. And he wants to go and he wants to play and he wants to make plays. He's got the right attitude for a quarterback, and as a junior I'm real pleased with where he's at."
The North Stars broke up the Tigers' shutout bid with 9:08 to play on senior Ben Furtney's 14-yard TD reception from Sammy DeDobbelaere.