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Key defensive plays lead Wheaton North past Batavia

Riley Dravet grabbed a Batavia fumble and raced 80 yards for the clinching touchdown Saturday in No. 19 Wheaton North’s 16-7 victory.

Wheaton North’s Rex Kroger (34) jumps into the arms of a teammate after the Falcons beat Batavia.
Wheaton North’s Rex Kroger (34) jumps into the arms of a teammate after the Falcons beat Batavia.
Allen Cunningham/For the Sun-Times

DEKALB, Ill. — There was a state-playoff vibe at Huskie Stadium, even in a year without a postseason.

‘‘We had the fans there, a lot of energy, a lot of emotion,’’ Wheaton North senior Riley Dravet said. ‘‘Just a great way to end the season.’’

Dravet provided an energy boost of his own, grabbing a Batavia fumble and racing 80 yards for the clinching touchdown in No. 19 Wheaton North’s 16-7 victory Saturday.

Dravet’s scoop and score with 3:46 left was just the last in a string of big defensive plays for the Falcons (5-1). Hugh Werner recovered a Batavia fumble at the Wheaton North 4-yard line, and Kaiden Libby intercepted a pass in the first half.

No. 16 Batavia’s four possessions in the second half ended with three turnovers on downs inside the Falcons’ 30 and Dravet’s touchdown.

‘‘Our defense, they played phenomenal,’’ Wheaton North quarterback Mark Forcucci said. ‘‘You really can’t ask for anything better. . . . We let them be out there a little bit more than we should have.

‘‘But I think in the second half we figured things out a little bit more. And we stayed on the field and put some drives together and gave them a little rest, so they could recuperate and get back out there and dominate for us.’’

The only score for the Bulldogs (4-2), who came in averaging 34 points, came on a 51-yard interception return by Jalen Buckley on the third play from scrimmage.

‘‘They moved the ball on us, but when they got down in the red zone, the kids stiffened up,’’ Wheaton North coach Joe Wardynski said.

Forcucci passed for 149 yards and a touchdown, a 20-yarder to Casey Morrison. Brayton Maske added 74 yards on 16 carries for the Falcons.

Batavia rushed for 313 yards, including 132 on 19 carries by Josh Dornink, 70 by Buckley and 65 by Trey Urwiler.

‘‘I felt really good about what we planned to do on offense in this game,’’ Bulldogs coach Dennis Piron said. ‘‘When we were in the red zone — I don’t even know what to say.’’

St. Charles North 28, WW South 21

Jordan Nubin, who is heading to Minnesota as a preferred walk-on to join brother Tyler, ran for 74 yards and two touchdowns to lead the Saints (4-1) in the opener of the doubleheader.

Parker Brown passed for 284 yards and two touchdowns for No. 15 WW South (4-2).