Wheaton North has a better week, beats Lake Park
Unlike baseball where a loss can be avenged in a day or two, football players have a longer time to think about a game that didn't go their way.
defending Class 7A champion Wheaton North had plenty of time to think about the previous week's 22-21 loss at St. Charles North. It was the first defeat of the season.
And so the team's motivation was a little higher than usual going into Friday night's game at Lake Park and worked from start to finish to get back on the winning track and defeated the Lancers 28-7.
"It was definitely a motivating factor. We were mad," said junior running back Walker Owens, who led the Falcons (4-1, 2-1 DuKane Conference) on the ground with 7 carries for 70 yards. "We left a lot on the field (last week). We were more intense in practice this week working on details."
Both teams showed their ability for sustained drives early. The Falcons, who got the ball first, moved 60 yards on 10 plays, capping the effort on an 18-yard run by Luke Beedle just under five minutes into the game. Beedle would score the final touchdown of the contest for Wheaton North.
Lake Park (1-4, 1-2) immediately responded with a 16-play, 80-yard drive that went into the second quarter. Quarterback Michael McCormick snuck it in from the 1, just under a minute into the period. McCormick was game-high rusher with 116 yards on 22 carries.
Running back Marco Annecca rushed for 100 yards on 12 carries.
The game remained deadlocked at halftime with the Falcons taking a 14-7 advantage with 10:43 remaining in third. Tyler O'Connor gained 39 yards on a pitch-out to put Wheaton North into Lancers' territory. Two plays later, he hit the end zone on a 4-yard run.
"Football is tough. You play once a week. If you lose, you own it and live with it for a week," said Falcons coach Joe Wardynski. "Every game is a battle. Lake Park has a good roster. They'll win some games down the stretch."
Wheaton North quarterback Max Howser scored the Falcons' third touchdown in the final quarter.
Friday's game for the Lancers was an example that the team is not that far from showing its full capability.
"Tonight was a big step, not with the result, but we put up a fight," said Lake Park coach Chris Kirkpatrick.