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Graham, Tigers grab momentum heading into postseason

Published: Wednesday, Oct. 30, 2013 2:45 p.m. CDT • Updated: Friday, July 25, 2014 4:51 a.m. CDT
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Erica Benson - ebenson@shawmedia.com Wheaton Warrenville South's Billy Prete runs the ball upfield during the Tigers' 55-7 win Friday over host Glenbard East.

WHEATON – With Wheaton Warrenville South back in the postseason after a hiccup last fall, senior quarterback Ryan Graham says it is time for the 2013 squad to leave its legacy.

“We have to play each play like its our last play,” Graham said.

“Before the season, our theme was to ‘renew the legacy,’ and we did that. Now we have to make our mark. We’ve put in a lot of hard work and hopefully we can do everything that we planned to do. It should be a really fun experience for everybody.”

Up first in a loaded Class 7A bracket is a matchup with Dunbar at Gately Stadium on Friday.

“They are 8-1 and a very good team,” the quarterback said. “It should be a great game for us against a great opponent.”

Undefeated Whitney Young is also in the Tigers’ quadrant along with Mt. Carmel and St. Rita.

“It’s crazy,” Graham said about the Class 7A bracket. “It’s possibly one of the most stacked years we’ve ever had. It’s a credit to all of the coaches and all of the teams and all the hard work those teams put in. It is going to be a fun one to watch and a fun one to play in.”

Wheaton Warrenville South picked up some needed momentum by rebounding from a Week 8 loss to Glenbard North with a 55-7 win over Glenbard East Friday to end the regular season with a 7-2 mark.

“It was definitely a big confidence booster for us,” Graham said, “and definitely a good win for us. Our offense executed well and the defense played extremely well. It was a good pre-game for the playoffs.”

The Tigers played without four starters on offense (running backs Isaiah Campos and Zack Moberg, wide receiver Savone Carter and lineman Jack Williams) against the Rams, but expect to be at full strength on Friday.

“I’d say on offense, it’s about executing our jobs and not shooting ourselves in the foot,” the QB said. “Our first three wins (of the season), we were running the ball, getting first downs. The couple of games we lost, we were stalemated and not able to move the ball. And defensively, just keep doing what they’ve been doing.”

One area Wheaton Warrenville South has a clear advantage is strength of schedule.

The Tigers played four opponents who won seven games or more in the regular season; Dunbar played none.

“We are very battle-tested for the playoffs,” Graham said.

“That is the whole point of our schedule. And that is one of coach Muhitch’s main things, to know what big games are like, and we’ve definitely played in some big games.”

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