GENEVA – Wheaton North used a 24-point second quarter explosion to gain some separation from Geneva and went on to record a 40-27 victory Friday night at Burgess Field.
The Falcons took advantage of a pair of Viking mistakes to score 17 unanswered points in the quarter to open up a 24-6 lead.
“That’s what good teams do,” Geneva coach Rob Wicinski said. “They take advantage of the things you don’t quite do so well.”
Nick Cairo booted a 37-yard field goal to start the scoring spree for the Falcons (2-0). He was successful on another try from 26 yards out on Wheaton North’s next possession, but a running into the kicker penalty gave the Falcons a first down at the Geneva 4-yard line. From there, Michael Bloss hauled in a touchdown pass from Clayton Thorson.
On the next play from scrimmage, Geneva quarterback Daniel Santacaterina was picked off in the flat by Mike Ceron, and he returned the interception 28 yards for a touchdown.
The Vikings (1-1) got as close as 31-20 early in the third quarter on a 1-yard plunge by T.J. Miller.
Miller was the workhorse on the ground for Geneva, gaining 56 yards on 20 carries, but the Vikings had to go to the air frequently in the second half as they tried to play catch up.
Heralded Wheaton North quarterback Clayton Thorson threw for 233 yards and a pair of touchdowns.
“They’ve got some great receivers, a lot of athletes all over, they spread the ball and make us work one-on-one, and that quarterback, man, Thorson or whatever his name is, he just puts it there,” said Geneva junior Pace Temple A couple times we thought we were in great position and all of a sudden the ball is just there and you can’t do anything about it.”
Santacaterina did his best to keep up with Thorson, throwing for 266 yards and a pair of touchdowns, including a 12-yard jump ball that Temple went up and got to pull Geneva to within 11 at the half.
“They were zoning us most of the game and we got a chance for a little one-on-one so Daniel just kind of gave me a fade,” Temple said. “We ran it and he put the ball there and I went up and made a play. … He put the ball right where it needed to be and everything worked out.”
The Falcons took advantage of a short field often in the game, including scoring their first touchdown after the Vikings were unsuccessful on a fourth-and-8 play at their own 13.
“We didn’t want to punt to that 83 [Matt Biegalski],” Wicinski said. “It was a strategy that maybe worked out not the best. That’s something we’ve got to go back and evaluate.”
Biegalski caught five passes for 156 yards.
WHEATON NORTH 40, GENEVA 27
WN 7 24 9 0 - 40 Geneva 6 7 67 7 - 27
HOW THEY SCORED
First quarter WN - Garza 2 run (Cairo kick), 9:40 G - Miller 2 run (kick failed), 2:43Second quarter WN - Cairo 37 FG, 9:16 WN - Bloss 4 pass from Thorson (Cairo kick), 6:03 WN - Cerone 28 interception return (Cairo kick), 5:49 G - Temple 12 pass from Santacaterina (Browere kick), 3:52 WN - Biegalski 32 pass from Thorson (Cairo kick), 2:30Third quarter G - Miller 1 run (Browere kick), 8:22 WN - Cairo 24 FG, 5:48 WN - Garza 9 run (kick failed)Fourth quarter G - Boenzi 4 pass from Santacaterina (Browere kick), 8:44
RUSHING - Wheaton North: Thorson 6-0, Garza 10-43, Alexander 14-77, Jones 1-4. Totals: 31-124. Geneva: Woodworth 3-2, Miller 20-56, Nebel 1-minus 1, Santacaterina 12-26. Totals: 36-83.
PASSING - Wheaton North: Thorson 15-27-2-243. Geneva: Santacaterina 19-32-3-284.
RECEIVING - Wheaton North: Kirschbaum 4-28, Biegalski 5-156, Forcucci 3-5, Heggeland 1-35, Bloss 1-4, Alexander 1-15. Geneva: Temple 4-85, Landi 4-63, Brown 3-67, Woodworth 6-38, Miller 1-25, McCloughan 1-6.
TOTAL OFFENSE -- Wheaton North 367, Geneva 367
SOPHOMORE GAME -- Wheaton North 42, Geneva 7