WHEATON, Ill. -- The men of Wheaton Warrenville South overcame a slow start in a big way Friday night, defeating rival Wheaton North 42-14.
"We were really stopping ourselves ... making mistakes early that we usually don’t make,” said senior quarterback Reilly O’Toole.
After forcing Wheaton North to punt on their opening possession, the Wheaton South offense promptly gave it right back as O’Toole’s first pass of the night was intercepted.
“They blitzed and I tried to get it out to my running back and just missed him … great play by their linebacker,” said O’Toole.
The Wheaton North offense would capitalize on the short field, as running back Matt Sambo rumbled in from seven yards out to give the Falcons a 7-0 lead.
The very next drive, this time with the Tigers knocking on the door of the end zone, O’Toole would be stripped of the ball by a swarm of Falcon defenders to once again give possession to Wheaton North.
Down seven and in need of a play defensively, Wheaton South linebacker R.J. Hoshell picked off Falcon’s quarterback Reece Butler inside the team’s 20 yard line to give the ball back to the Tigers. With his offense in desperate need of points, O’Toole began directing an 82 yard drive that would be capped by a 14 yard touchdown pass to wideout Titus Davis. After a Falcon three and out followed by a short punt, Wheaton South marched 31 yards for another score thanks to a seven yard TD run from running back Matthew Rogers.
The second half was much of the same as the Tiger’s would end up scoring on every possession but their final one, while the Falcon’s offense wouldn’t find the end zone again until less than four minutes remained in the fourth quarter.
Following his first quarter interception, O’Toole would go on to complete his next 14 passess for over 250 yards and four scores.
“We bounced back and it showed, which is something we’re proud of. Everyone is pretty confident offensively and we know we can move the ball,” said O’Toole.
Player of the game: Titus Davis, WR Wheaton South. Although the Tiger offense struggled early, Davis remained a constant throughout each quarter pilling up over 120 yards receiving as well as a touchdown.
Stat of the game: Following the team’s first two possessions, which ended in turnovers, the WWS offense produced six straight touchdown drives.
It was over when: O’Toole connected for his third touchdown pass, this time to Ryan Crowe, to extend the Tiger lead to 28.
Quote of the night: “We knew we’d get Wheaton North’s best tonight and I like the way we responded … this is a big win for us.”
-Wheaton South Head Coach Ron Muhitch