WW South gets what it needed
Ron Muhitch asked for three things prior to Wheaton Warrenville South's trip to West Chicago.
One big play on offense. One big play on defense. And one big play on special teams.
The WW South football coach didn't get everything he wanted, but the Tigers did what they needed to earn a 55-14 DuPage Valley Conference victory on Friday night.
"Our whole concept was to create and get big plays," Muhitch said. "We've lost three times and it's because we don't have a big play. We got two out of three. We didn't get the special teams play we were looking for, but that's a start. I'm really proud for the kids."
Ironically, West Chicago's biggest play of the night triggered Wheaton Warrenville South's big plays.
With 10:26 to go in the first half, West Chicago quarterback Jordan Lelito hit wide receiver Dean Pauley on a screen over the middle.
Pauley broke through tackles and then found daylight down the right sideline for a 61-yard touchdown. The Wildcats' first score in 12 quarters pulled them into a 7-7 knot.
"We were excited," said West Chicago coach Bill Bicker. "It was rewarding because all the work we've been putting in offensively. It's good to see it pay off."
WW South (3-3, 3-1) answered with a long drive that relied almost exclusively on senior running back Brandon Adams. He ran six plays in a row and capped his march with a 1-yard touchdown spin on third-and-goal with 5:08 to go.
Then came the big plays that knocked out West Chicago (0-6, 0-4).
On the Wildcats' second snap after Adams' go-ahead touchdown, Lelito's short pass in the flat slipped out of his hands and over his intended target.
Tigers junior cornerback Jacob Schultz snagged the interception and zipped down the left sideline for a 26-yard touchdown return.
"That one hurt," Bicker said.
Thanks to back-to-back big plays by junior linebacker Joseph Michalek — he blew up a draw play with a huge hit and then sacked Lelito — WW South regained the ball at its own 48-yard line with 1:13 left in the half.
Quarterback Ryan Graham rushed for 22 yards on the first play to set up his unit's big play.
Blessed with time to stand tall in the pocket, Graham saw wideout Corey Davis break open near the left sideline and hit him in stride. The West Chicago defender tried to shove Davis out of bounds, but he regained his balance and tiptoed down the hash marks for a 30-yard score and a 28-7 lead with 49 seconds left in the half.
West Chicago chopped the margin on Miguel Flores' 34-yard broken-field run early in the third quarter, but WW South scored on its next four possessions to wrap up matters.
Tigers running back Isaiah Campos, who attended West Chicago his freshman year, scored a pair of touchdowns, as did Davis and backup running back Zachary Moberg.
WW South finished with 423 total yards, including 301 on the ground.
"Ron's just one of the best coaches around," Bicker said. "I'm making adjustments defensively and he sees it right away.
"As an example, in the second half he's running two-back, he's running power, he's running outside zone. And so I'm like, 'OK, we're going to come down to the strong side.' As soon as we come to the strong side, he goes to the weak side."
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