The momentum was in favor of the Wheaton North Falcons in the opening round of the Class 7A playoffs.
The Falcons (8-2) defeated the Jacobs Golden Eagles 28-0 at Wheaton North Friday night, and advanced to play the winner of Saturday's matchup between Rockford Boylan and Libertyville.
Falcons quarterback John Peltz got the scoring going in the first quarter with a 2-yard run to put Wheaton North up 7-0.
The Golden Eagles would then have a chance to tie it up, but Wheaton North defensive back Casey Blair intercepted a pass from Jacobs quarterback Jason Judson in the red zone.
"We had some crucial turnovers," said Jacobs head coach Bill Mitz. "It could have been 7-7 (at that point), but we threw the interception. We made mistakes and gave them the ball."
Peltz then dominated in the air in the second quarter, first with a 73-yard touchdown pass to Matt Biegalski. It was Biegalski's first career varsity touchdown, as Friday night was his first varsity game. Peltz also found Johnny Daniels for an 18-yard touchdown pass late in the second quarter to put the Falcons up 21-0 at halftime.
"We definitely would have liked to come out harder (earlier) in the first half," said Peltz. "We would have liked to have more points on the board early, but that was huge to score in the last seconds of the half."
The Falcons would seal the 28-0 victory in the third quarter with a 28-yard touchdown pass from Peltz to Daniels, and will see another week of playoff football.
Peltz knew that his team would build off getting the late first-half points and not let up.
"The momentum started building," said Peltz. "People started cheering, the crowd got going. Once you score that much, the momentum changes with you."
Biegalski tallied 154 yards on 5 receptions in his memorable varsity debut. Peltz was 12-of-19 with 258 yards passing and 3 touchdowns, with 1 interception. Running back Patrick Sharp rushed for 85 yards on 14 carries for the Falcons, while Peltz rushed for 26 yards on 9 carries with a touchdown.
For the Golden Eagles, Judson was 8-of-18 with 80 yards passing and 2 interceptions while running back Kyle Wright rushed for 60 yards on 10 carries. Jake Gierlak led the Golden Eagles in receiving with 46 yards on 3 receptions.
As the second round approaches, Wheaton North head coach Joe Wardynski knows the challenges ahead.
"We've got to clean up some turnovers," said Wardynski. "We put the ball on the ground a few times. That's something we'll need to clean up if we want to move on and continue beating good teams."