For those in the Whitnall community who doubted Jeff Wallack when he was hired this past year as head coach might need to check the Woodland East conference standings. After a sluggish first half, Whitnall rallied for a 37-30 win at South Milwaukee and moved into first place of the Woodland East.
“Not going to lie, this is a program win,” said Wallack. “Since I got here, we have had guys coming to the weight room and wanting to really make a difference.”
One senior has really made a difference despite never playing football for three years.
Enter game changer Patrick Wyrowski, former cross country runner.
Trailing 23-22 with two minutes to go in the third quarter, Wyrowski ran a simple five-yard hitch route but broke two tackles on his way to an 87-yard touchdown to give the Falcons their first lead of the game.
“I loved cross country,” said Wyrowski. “But I just knew I could really help this team and I have enjoyed every minute of it. Nothing beats this, Friday night lights.”
Whitnall (4-1) forced a three and out on South Milwaukee's next possession. Again, it was Wyrowski shinning under the bright lights. The wideout broke free again and quarterback Zach Sutton found him in stride for a 43-yard strike to push their lead to two scores.
Wyrowski finished with six catches for 166 yards and two touchdowns.
“He is a really special player,” said Sutton, who finished with 308 yards passing with four touchdown passes. “We play as a family, when one of us makes a great play we celebrate, when we make a mistake, we pick each other up.”
The Rockets (2-3) made things interesting with a quick touchdown drive of their own with 2:09 remaining. Evan Marlowe caught a 10-yard touchdown grab from Justin Oliden. Oliden finished with 158 yards passing with a touchdown.
However, an interception by Nick Climler put the Rockets in a hole they just couldn’t get out of in the fourth quarter.
“We knew we did not play our best football in the first half,” said Falcons senior linebacker Zach Price. “We were really hungry to get out there in the second half and get back to it.”
Wallack has always been good on the offensive side of the ball but he prides himself on his defensive units.
“We only held them 73 yards total in the first half,” said Wallack. “I knew if we played the way we can and limit out mistakes we would be ok.”
Both teams entered the night with 2-0 records in division play. Whitnall's victory guaranteed the Falcons a spot in the playoffs.
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