Wheaton North might be the better football team, but the Falcons fell 33-24 Friday to a Geneva team that took some wild gambles that paid big dividends.
Falcons junior quarterback John Peltz had a huge night, throwing for a pluperfectly unofficial 325 yards and three touchdowns. Patrick Sharp added 104 yard on 10 carries (also extraordinarily unofficial totals), and the Falcons seemed to be able to score at will.
But two onside kicks recovered by the Vikings helped them control the clock, run up an early lead and keep the Falcons' offense off the field. The Vikings also had career-best performances by quarterback Matt Williams (11 of 22, 210 yards, 1 TD) and runningback Parker Woodworth (29 carries, 173 yards, 3 TDs.)
It started oh-so-well, when the Falcons' defense held the Vikings' first drive, and the offense scored on one play—a sideline pass to Micah Penn that he broke for a 69-yard touchdown.
But Geneva came back, scoring on a 10-play drive capped by a 16-yard run by Woodworth to tie the game. Geneva tried an onside kick, recovered it, and scored again. Wheaton North blocked the extra point, and it was 13-7.
The Falcons then ran through the Geneva defense, like "buttah," but settled for a 36-yard field goal, cutting the Viking lead to 13-10.
Geneva scored again in six plays—the key being a 61-yard pass from Williams to Tyler Hickey. The Vikings tried the onside kick again and got it again.
But the Falcons defense held the Vikings to a four-and-out, then marched 64 yards in six plays, scoring on a 27-yard pass from Peltz to tight end Johnny Daniels.
Both teams missed field-goal attempts, and it remained 20-17 at the half.
The Falcons started a drive in the third quarter but elected to punt on fourth-and-1 on the Geneva 47-yard line. The Vikings then mounted a 13-play scoring drive to move ahead 26-17 with 4:28 showing in the third quarter.
Peltz went to work, and the Falcons scored in seven plays. The kicked the extra point and made it 26-24 at the end of three periods of play.
Geneva counterpunched with a six-play drive, continued when teh Vikings took a gamble on fourth-and-1 from the Falcon 45-yard line. Woodwowrth got outside for a 38-yard run that set up a 7-yard Williams scamper into the end zone with 9:59 showing in the fourth.
A bad snap on a third-down play forced the Falcons to punt, but they held Geneva to four plays and took over again on their own 10-yard line. They drove all the way to the Geneva 10, but missed a field goal wide right.
Geneva took over, ran down the clock, and the Falcons' last drive fizzled on a hot September night under the Friday-night lights in Geneva.
The Falcons are now 1-1 following last week's nailbiter win over Bartlett.
Wheaton North's sophomore team flattened the Vikings 45-6 in the Friday night opener.