Wheaton Warrenville South still enjoying November

  • Wheaton Warrenville South quarterback Parker Brown runs between Downers Grove North's Drew Bielawski (48) and Seth Peterson during Saturday's game.

      Wheaton Warrenville South quarterback Parker Brown runs between Downers Grove North's Drew Bielawski (48) and Seth Peterson during Saturday's game. Joe Lewnard | Staff Photographer

  • Wheaton Warrenville South's Jake Arthurs hugs strength and conditioning coach Jack Van Diver along the sidleine after his fourth-quarter touchdown against Downers Grove North made the score 28-7 during Saturday's game in Wheaton.

      Wheaton Warrenville South's Jake Arthurs hugs strength and conditioning coach Jack Van Diver along the sidleine after his fourth-quarter touchdown against Downers Grove North made the score 28-7 during Saturday's game in Wheaton. Joe Lewnard | Staff Photographer

  • Wheaton Warrenville South quarterback Parker Brown shakes hands with Downers Grove North players following his team's 28-7 vicotry during Saturday's game in Wheaton.

      Wheaton Warrenville South quarterback Parker Brown shakes hands with Downers Grove North players following his team's 28-7 vicotry during Saturday's game in Wheaton. Joe Lewnard | Staff Photographer

  • Wheaton Warrenville South's Prince Lankah celebrates his touchdown during the fourth quarter against Downers Grove North during Saturday's game in Wheaton.

      Wheaton Warrenville South's Prince Lankah celebrates his touchdown during the fourth quarter against Downers Grove North during Saturday's game in Wheaton. Joe Lewnard | Staff Photographer

  • Downers Grove North's Joshua Lumpkin carries the ball during Saturday's game against Wheaton Warrenville South.

      Downers Grove North's Joshua Lumpkin carries the ball during Saturday's game against Wheaton Warrenville South. Joe Lewnard | Staff Photographer

  • The Wheaton Warrenville South defense including, left to right, Micah Roberts, Ben Burger and Michael Rogers closes in on Downers Grove North quarterback Drew Cassens as he rushes for yardage during Saturday's game in Wheaton.

      The Wheaton Warrenville South defense including, left to right, Micah Roberts, Ben Burger and Michael Rogers closes in on Downers Grove North quarterback Drew Cassens as he rushes for yardage during Saturday's game in Wheaton. Joe Lewnard | Staff Photographer

  • Downers Grove North quarterback Drew Cassens throws a pass during Saturday's game against Wheaton Warrenville South.

      Downers Grove North quarterback Drew Cassens throws a pass during Saturday's game against Wheaton Warrenville South. Joe Lewnard | Staff Photographer

  • Downers Grove North's Henry Gates wraps his arms around Wheaton Warrenville South ball carrier Jake Arthur and pushes him toward the sideline during Saturday's game in Wheaton.

      Downers Grove North's Henry Gates wraps his arms around Wheaton Warrenville South ball carrier Jake Arthur and pushes him toward the sideline during Saturday's game in Wheaton. Joe Lewnard | Staff Photographer

  • Downers Grove North's Joshua Lumpkin carries the ball during Saturday's game against Wheaton Warrenville South.

      Downers Grove North's Joshua Lumpkin carries the ball during Saturday's game against Wheaton Warrenville South. Joe Lewnard | Staff Photographer

  • Wheaton Warrenville South's Jake Arthurs powers his way to the goal line for a touchdown as Downers Grove North's  Ryan Schindler closes in during Saturday's game in Wheaton.

      Wheaton Warrenville South's Jake Arthurs powers his way to the goal line for a touchdown as Downers Grove North's Ryan Schindler closes in during Saturday's game in Wheaton. Joe Lewnard | Staff Photographer

  • Downers Grove North's Joshua Lumpkin, right, celebrates his touchdown with teammate Seth Peterson during Saturday's game against Wheaton Warrenville South.

      Downers Grove North's Joshua Lumpkin, right, celebrates his touchdown with teammate Seth Peterson during Saturday's game against Wheaton Warrenville South. Joe Lewnard | Staff Photographer

  • Wheaton Warrenville South's Jason Haw gets tackled by Downers Grove North's Drew Cassens, left, and Jon Werthman during Saturday's game in Wheaton.

      Wheaton Warrenville South's Jason Haw gets tackled by Downers Grove North's Drew Cassens, left, and Jon Werthman during Saturday's game in Wheaton. Joe Lewnard | Staff Photographer

  • Wheaton Warrenville South's Kaleb Clousing looks to get past Downers Grove North's Henry Gates during Saturday's game in Wheaton.

      Wheaton Warrenville South's Kaleb Clousing looks to get past Downers Grove North's Henry Gates during Saturday's game in Wheaton. Joe Lewnard | Staff Photographer

  • Wheaton Warrenville South's Danny Healy makes an interception in front of Downers Grove North's Kevin Bozeman during Saturday's game in Wheaton.

      Wheaton Warrenville South's Danny Healy makes an interception in front of Downers Grove North's Kevin Bozeman during Saturday's game in Wheaton. Joe Lewnard | Staff Photographer

  • Downers Grove North quarterback Drew Cassens walks to his team's sideline after a failed fourth-down conversion attempts during Saturday's game against Wheaton Warrenville South.

      Downers Grove North quarterback Drew Cassens walks to his team's sideline after a failed fourth-down conversion attempts during Saturday's game against Wheaton Warrenville South. Joe Lewnard | Staff Photographer

 
 
Updated 11/9/2019 7:28 PM

Wheaton Warrenville South proved it's no one-year wonder.

The Tigers are headed back to the Class 7A quarterfinals after Saturday's 28-7 victory over visiting Downers Grove North.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

Locked in a tight football game, No. 22 WW South (8-3) opened it up with fourth-quarter touchdown runs by Prince Lankah and Jake Arthurs. The Tigers -- following up three straight two-win seasons with back-to-back quarterfinal appearances -- will play host to No. 3 Rolling Meadows (11-0) at 1 p.m. next Saturday.

"This is extremely important, for the younger classes especially," said Tigers linebacker Michael Rogers. "When I was a freshman and sophomore, I was going through the 2-7 years, but last year we made it to the playoffs and made a run. This year we're making a run.

"We've been picking up a lot of momentum," he said. "It's fun to play football in November."

Twenty-seventh seeded Downers North (6-5) stuffed the Tigers on fourth and goal from the 1 with just under 10 minutes to play. Trailing 14-7, the Trojans made it to their 30 before being forced to punt.

Wheaton Warrenville South quarterback Parker Brown throws a pass during Saturday's game against Downers Grove North.
  Wheaton Warrenville South quarterback Parker Brown throws a pass during Saturday's game against Downers Grove North. - Joe Lewnard | Staff Photographer
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WW South took advantage three plays later when Lankah, who rushed for 69 yards, broke free for a 48-yard touchdown. With a 21-7 lead and 3:12 to play, the Tigers had run-heavy Downers North in a tough spot.

"Them scoring those two touchdowns at the end, I don't think that shows the story of the game," said Trojans coach Joe Horeni. "We certainly had a lot of opportunities to put some more points on the board.

"Like I said at the end of our meeting, this is the expectation," he said. "We make the playoffs, we win games in the playoffs and then we put a run together. Our younger guys know that now and our seniors showed them the way to do it."

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

Downers North turned the ball over on downs and Arthurs added a late 9-yard touchdown run to make it 28-7.

"We went into the playoffs with a chip on our shoulder," said Arthurs, who had 112 yards on 22 carries. "We knew teams were going to underestimate us. We're back to where we were last year and now we've got to go further. That's our goal."

The teams traded touchdowns on three straight first-quarter possessions. Arthurs scored on a 3-yard run but Trojans running back Josh Lumpkin answered with a 42-yard touchdown burst. The Tigers went ahead for good when Parker Brown found Jack Olsen in stride for a 41-yard touchdown and a 14-7 lead that held until the fourth quarter.

Wheaton Warrenville South's Ben Burger tackles Downers Grove North quarterback Drew Cassens during Saturday's game in Wheaton.
  Wheaton Warrenville South's Ben Burger tackles Downers Grove North quarterback Drew Cassens during Saturday's game in Wheaton. - Joe Lewnard | Staff Photographer

Lumpkin rushed for 123 yards on 17 carries. Fellow senior Drew Cassens added 90 yards as the third-year starting quarterback closed the season with 1,513 rushing yards for the Trojans.

"It's a bittersweet moment," Cassens said. "Obviously, we would have loved to go further, but our goal all along was to make the playoffs. Not only did we make the playoffs but we moved past the first round and into the Sweet Sixteen. That just made it so much better for us."

Twitter: @kevin_schmit

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