WHEATON – While the matchup with a 1-5 West Aurora team Friday night might not seem big on paper, it will hold a little extra importance for Wheaton North.
With the Blackhawks moving from the DuPage Valley Conference to the Upstate Eight Conference after this year, this could be the last time these two teams meet for quite a while.
“We had a program meeting on Monday,” said Wheaton North coach Joe Wardynski, “where we talked to the whole program at once. We talked about the tradition at West Aurora, they have been playing football since the 1890s. It’s a great place to play a football game and it’s a great atmosphere for football.
“We have to go in there and represent our school well; it’s our last chance to go against them.”
The Falcons head into the contest riding a three-game winning streak after picking up a 52-7 victory over Glenbard East on Friday. Wheaton North led 45-0 at halftime.
“One thing we stressed this week was that although we had four wins, we hadn’t had a game where we won all three phases of the game,” Wardynski said. “We had that as a point of emphasis and overall, we played our best game all-around.”
Dom Garza sparked the offense with a pair of touchdowns, one rushing and the other receiving. Quarterback Clayton Thorson also tossed touchdown passes to Jack Kirschbaum and JP Forcucci while running for two additional scores. Nick Cairo booted a 29-yard field goal and Brandon Torres rounded out the scoring with a short touchdown run.
“The coaches selected Dom as the offensive player of the game,” Wardynski said. “He scored two touchdowns and he also did a nice job in pass protection.”
With the win, Wheaton North moved into a three-way tie for second place in the DVC, one game behind Glenbard North.
The Falcons, who can clinch a playoff berth with a win Friday, end the regular season with matchups against Naperville Central and Glenbard North.
“We are improving,” Wardynski added. “If we play well, I fell we can match up with anybody. But we are certainly not a dominant team so we can get beat by anybody, too.
“Our kids will be confident if we make the playoffs, and what we do the next three weeks will decide the seeding.”