HARVEY | Not even a pair of 92-yard touchdown passes from JoWahn Brown to Jauan Wesley could keep Thornton from bowing to Downers Grove North on Friday night.
The problem was the timing. The first of the two long-distance connections came with 2:16 remaining. By that point, the Trojans were well on their way to what became a 29-13 victory, their second surprise win in as many weeks. They had knocked off Batavia in the opening round.
"Holy (bleep)," Downers Grove North coach John Wander said to his players.
Subduing the Wildcats (8-3) was a little more complicated than that for the Trojans (7-4), but the reaction was correct. Until the first big collaboration between Brown and Wesley, the Trojans had given up only 67 yards.
"They just came out and played harder than us, executed more than us," Brown said. "We started executing too late."
Two of Thornton's three turnovers came in the first six minutes, and the Wildcats' failure to stop punter Gareth Jones' dash for a first down on fourth-and-5 kept Downers Grove North's second scoring drive alive.
"And we were playing fake (defense)," Thornton coach Bill Mosel said. "It wasn't our night."
It was all Trojans in the first half, with running back Kyle Leto (99 yards, 11 carries), quarterback David Edwards and running back Brandon Salter (95 yards, 19 carries) each scoring a touchdown in the second quarter.
Edwards' score, a 2-yard dash around right end, capped a 17-play drive that commenced on the Downers Grove North 24 and included Jones' dash for the first down. It started with 4:18 left in the first quarter and finished sometime in the second, after a power surge knocked out the scoreboard. That made it 13-0, and an eight-play sortie on the Trojans' next possession, featuring a 27-yard dash by Leto three plays before Salter's 3-yard score, made it 19-0.
Leto's game-opening score, a 17-yard burst off right tackle, came on the first play after Jason Towns fumbled following an 11-yard reception, the second of Thornton's first quarter turnovers.
"Only one team is leaving Class 7A happy," Mosel said.
It won't be Thornton.