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More news about: Wheaton (Ill.)

Wheaton, Ill. - The Wheaton football team closed out the home portion of the 2019 regular season schedule on Saturday with a 55-6 victory at home against Carthage College. With the victory, Wheaton clinches a share of the CCIW title and a postseason berth for the first time since 2016. Wheaton concludes the regular season next Saturday at Elmhurst. A victory against the Bluejays gives Wheaton sole possession of its first CCIW Championship since 2015. With the loss, Carthage falls to 4-5 overall and 4-4 in the CCIW.

The Thunder tallied 483 yards of offense, with 236 rushing yards and 247 passing yards. Carthage had 259 offensive yards, with 197 passing yards and 62 rushing yards. Adam Terrini led the Thunder offense with his second-consecutive 100-yard receiving game, catching seven passes for 112 yards. Luke Anthony completed 16-of-27 yards for 211 yards and a touchdown. Sam Singleton was Wheaton's leading rusher with 59 yards on seven carries and a touchdown as four different Thunder ballcarriers recorded rushing touchdowns.

The Thunder defense limited Carthage to just one-of-16 on third down conversions and two-of-five on fourth down conversions. Entering play on Saturday, was the only team in Division III yet to allow a fourth down conversion.

Opening the game with the wind at their back, Wheaton took advantage of short fields for their two first quarter scores. A 23-yard field goal by Griffin Bowes opened the scoring and concluded an eight-play, 50-yard drive. TJ Williams' 15-yard touchdown run put the cap on a five-play, 46-yard drive to put Wheaton ahead 10-0 at the end of the first quarter.

Wheaton added to its lead with the first and last plays of the second quarter. Caden Sigler pushed Wheaton's lead to 17-0 on the first play of the second quarter, when he intercepted a Jalen Dennis pass and returned it 32 yards for a touchdown. Wheaton closed the first half with a 13-play, 58-yard drive to ended with a 35-yard Bowes field goal as time expired to give Wheaton a 20-0 halftime lead.

Forced to punt on the opening possession of the second half, John Bickle's punt was downed at the one-yard line, marking the eighth time this season, Bickle has pinned an opponent inside their own five-yard line. On the first play of the ensuing drive, Dallas McRae got to quarterback Billy Dury, knocking his pass straight up into the air, where it was grabbed in the end zone by Pat O'Connell for Wheaton's second defensive touchdown of the game and fifth of the season. Following a quick three-and-out, Wheaton capped a five-play, 50-yard drive with a one-yard touchdown pass from Luke Anthony to Carson Lien, putting Wheaton ahead 34-0.

A 50-yard Terrini reception started Wheaton's next drive as the Thunder drove 74 yards in four plays and scored again when Sam Singleton tightroped the sideline for a 17-yard touchdown run. Wheaton's final two scores came in the final quarter on a 32-yard touchdown run by Will Smith (VIDEO) and a four-yard touchdown plunge by Dave Beamer. Carthage was able to end Wheaton's shutout bid with just five seconds remaining when the Dury found Pat Murphy for a six-yard touchdown pass on fourth down to bring the final tally to 55-6 after a blocked extra point.

Luke Gammichia, Fielding Davis, and Ryan Schwartz led the Thunder defense with five tackles apiece. Grant Miller tallied four tackles including 2.5 tackles for loss and a sack. Jake Holaday and River Shindledecker also finished with four tackles with Holaday recording 1.5 tackles for loss and Shindledecker adding one tackle for loss.

Wheaton will conclude its regular season next Saturday, when the Thunder travel to Elmhurst for a 1 pm kickoff against the Bluejays at Langhorst Field.

Sep. 25: All times Eastern
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