FOOTBALL FINAL: Falcons Soar Over Vikings, 34-7
Blue moon can't help "green" Vikings get the ball in the end zone at Rexilius Field in Wheaton.
You saw me standing alone
Without a dream in my heart
Without a love of my own
Yes, there was a blue moon, literally, Friday night. But it favored the Wheaton North Falcon's blue and gold over the Vikings' blue and white.
Wheaton North clicked on all cylinders at Rexilius Field, coasting to a 34-7 win over Geneva and running up a perfect 2-0 record in the pre-DuPage Valley Conference part of the schedule.
The Vikings, meanwhile, fall to 0-2 with the prospect of powerhouse rival Batavia coming next week in the Upstate Eight River Division.
Geneva was able to move the ball but had a hard time getting it into the end zone. The exception was a seven-minute, 16-play drive in the second quarter, when the Vikings marched 80 yards and scored when Joe Boenzi barrelled to the end zone, fumbled and Connor Feeney jumped on it for the touchdown.
"No doubt it's frustrating," coach Rob Wicinski said. "We're just not used to getting inside the 20 and not making things happen. We just got a lot of green in a lot of areas. So these two weeks were huge for us, and I'm hoping that the growth we saw from Week 1 to Week 2, we'll see in Week 2 to Week 3."
For the Falcons, it was the second blowout win in two tries. With the two-headed quarterback team of John Peltz and Clayton Thorson, and the slashing running of Patrick Sharp, Wheaton North has a good thing going, and coach Joe Wardynski appreciates it very much, thank you.
"I think being able to be balanced offensively is huge for us," he said. "When we can run the ball effectively and throw it when we want to, that makes a big difference. It keeps the defense off balance a little bit."
The Vikings beat the Falcons 33-24 in a barnburner at Burgess Field in 2011, when Geneva recovered a couple onside kicks. That wasn't going to happen under this blue moon.
"Special teams were good this year as compared to a year ago when we played these guys," Wardynski said. "That was the difference in the game. We put some extra effort in the special teams, and it paid off."
Wheaton North missed a field goal early, but kicked things into high gear when the Vikings tried and failed on fourth down at the Falcons' 40-yard line. Sharp scored on a 21-yard run with 1:56 showing in the first quarter.
A 25-yard pass from Thorson to Nate Annen started a six-play scoring drive that ended with a 3-yard connection from Thorson to Tom Colletti. A missed extra point kick made it 13-0 early in the second quarter.
Geneva's best drive of the night came next, highlighted by 33 hard-earned yards by Bobby Hess, who was held to 71 yards overall by a stingy Wheaton North defense. And although Geneva burned a lot of clock, it wasn't quite enough.
Wheaton North ran the two-minute offense to pefection and Thorson scored on a keeper with under a minute to go, making it 20-7 at the end of two quarters.
"That last touchdown they got at the end of the first half, that hurt. No doubt," Wicinski said. "It wasn't meant to be. But we learn and we keep going after that."
The second half was more evenly played than the score might indicate, but the Falcons managed a touchdown in each quarter, and Geneva stalled on a couple of long drives.
For the Vikings, who returned just two starters from last year's team, progress is the key.
"This is a great lesson, this is great amunition that hopefully, hopefully, will pay dividends down the line," Wicinski said. "Because nobody wants to get womped on the first two games and not see some dividends. Hopefully, we've got some payback in us.
"In due time, we're going to play our best football in the last game of the season, I just feel it. If we stay in there and not get buried too deep. I'm really proud of them. I thought they really fought hard."
SCORE BY QUARTER
- Geneva: 0-7-0-0—7
- Wheaton North: 7-13-7-7—34
- #6 T.J. Miller — 6 yards, 3 carries
- #7 Dan Santacaterina — 1 yards, 5 carries
- #22 Joe Boenzi — 26 yards, 7 carries
- #32 Bobby Hess — 71 yards, 22 carries
- #7 Santacaterina — 14-of-30 for 132 yards, 0 INT, 0 TD
- #8 Pace Temple —3 catches, 23 yards
- #15 Kyle Brown —5 catches, 66 yards
- #22 Boenzi — 2 catches, 11 yards
- #30 Dunlop — 2 catches, 11 yards
- #32 Hess — 2 catches, 13 yards