Wheaton North's football team didn't look like it was playing a rival.
Wheaton Warrenville South looked more like a machine.
In perhaps its most impressive outing of the season and that's saying plenty WW South overpowered visiting Wheaton North 44-0 in Saturday's second-round Class 7A playoff game.
The top-seeded Tigers (11-0) move on to the quarterfinals against No. 2 Glenbard West (10-1), a 42-28 winner over Lincoln-Way East, in a rematch of last year's 7A state title game. The game will be Saturday at WW South.
"It'll be an interesting matchup of breaks and big plays," said Tigers coach Ron Muhitch, whose team beat the Hilltoppers 31-24 in double overtime in last year's 7A final.
WW South dominated every phase against the fourth-seeded Falcons (8-3) while breaking out to a 14-0 lead after a quarter and a 28-0 lead at the half. Tigers quarterback Reilly O'Toole, who completed 15 of 18 passes for 208 yards and 4 touchdowns, threw for 2 first-half touchdowns and ran in the team's first score from a yard out on the opening drive.
Wheaton North managed only 3 first downs in the first half and never made it into WW South territory.
"Very one-sided," said Falcons coach Joe Wardynski. "We didn't perform on either side of the ball. They completely outplayed us in all phases offense, defense, special teams. It stings right now. I really hoped we would have played better tonight."
Unlike the cross-town game earlier this season when the Falcons took a 7-0 first-quarter lead before eventually falling 42-14, WW South never let Wheaton North breathe Saturday night.
Long punt returns by Titus Davis gave the Tigers short fields to work with until Wheaton North started punting out of bounds. Davis had 6 catches for 88 yards and a 21-yard touchdown catch in the first half, and he also ran in a 10-yard touchdown.
After O'Toole's 10-yard scoring pass to Travis Kern closed the first half, O'Toole threw second-half touchdowns to Matt Rogers, who carried the ball 14 times for 84 yards, and Lucas Devick.
"We're prepared for a dogfight every week, and I think we've come out ready every week," O'Toole said. "Offensively, we want to get off to a fast start. I think that just sets the tone for the game."
The Tigers also scored on a safety when the Falcons fumbled a backward pass into the end zone on a kick return. While notching its third shutout of the season WW South's defense held Wheaton North to 127 total yards, 37 on the ground.
All-DuPage Valley Conference senior quarterback Reece Butler completed 15 of 24 passes for 90 yards for the Falcons. He nearly scored on the game's final play, but WW South's defense stopped him on a run just short of the goal line.
It was the fifth straight game the Tigers have earned a running clock in the second half and the seventh of the season.
"The offense scored its normal 40 points and the defense felt like they had something to prove this week," said Tigers safety Caleb Bednarz, who snared his fifth interception. "We've been letting up 7, 14 points lately and we just wanted to get a shutout today and really prove something to the state and the other teams still left in the playoffs."