WHEATON – Coming into Friday’s game against Naperville North, Billy Buhle had one career interception return for a touchdown.
Suffice to say, his second one might hold a little more importance.
The senior defensive back provided a major spark in the first quarter with a takeaway and subsequent 22-yard jaunt to paydirt, and the Falcons went on to post a 31-13 victory over the Huskies.
Buhle’s previous interception return for a score was a 75-yarder in a sophomore game against Naperville Central.
“It was a momentum boost for our defense,” Buhle said. “Our defense really wanted to step up this week and show that we were ready to play.”
As a whole, the Falcons defense notched four interceptions.
“We had a good week of practice and we prepared a lot,” the senior said.
“It meant a lot for our defensive backs to step up and play well. We are small but we can get the job done when needed.”
The victory was exactly what North needed after a tough loss to Wheaton Warrenville South in Week 3.
“Obviously if we had dropped another [game], we would have to do some soul searching,” said Wheaton North coach Joe Wardynski.
“To get this win was big for us. And it was the most complete game we’ve played. We defended the pass well and we made some big stops in the run game. They [Naperville North] are a big play team and we tried to limit the big plays.”
Wardynski has seen steady improvement from the defense, which featured a lot of new faces to begin the season.
“Week one and week two, we didn’t play that well defensively,” the coach said.
“Part of it could have been we had a lot of new kids starting this year and you have to go through some growing pains. I thought we played pretty well last week [against WWS]. They are just a very good team.”
Offensively, the Falcons featured a strong running game, led by Dom Garza, who scored on a 4-yard run late in the second quarter. Dee Alexander and Clayton Thorson added rushing scores.
“It was very nice to get the run game going and keep that offensive balance,” Wardynski said.
“We were able to run the ball on first down and also run the ball on second-and-long. Our offensive coordinator did a great job calling the plays for us.”