Time of Poss.
Wheaton, Ill. - The fourth-ranked Thunder football team put the finishing touches on the third 10-0 season in program history on Saturday with a 58-0 victory at Elmhurst College. The shutout is Wheaton's fifth of the season as the Thunder clinched an outright CCIW Championship, their first since 2015 and 17th in program history. With the CCIW title, Wheaton will make its first playoff appearance since 2016.
Wheaton held the Bluejays to just 132 yards of offense with 59 yards coming on 38 carries and 73 yards coming through the air. Wheaton rolled up 337 yards passing and 154 yards on the ground. Luke Anthony led the Thunder aerial attack, completing 16-of-20 passes for 246 yards and five first half touchdowns. Dave Beamer was 10-of-13 for 91 yards and a touchdown. Stone Watson led a balanced rushing attack with 50 yards on six carries and a touchdown.
The Thunder took the opening possession of the game 61 yards on seven plays, capped by a seven-yard touchdown pass from Anthony to Burt McJunkin. Two possessions later, Anthony connected on another seven-yard scoring pass, this time to Stone Watson, putting Wheaton ahead 13-0 after the failed extra point.
On the second play of the second quarter, Elmhurst rushed their offense back onto the field in attempt to pick up a fourth and one, but Caden Sigler intercepted the Jake Tahaney pass and returned it 68 yards for Wheaton's sixth defensive touchdown of the season.
Anthony led the Thunder on a pair of quick strike scores on their next two possessions, finishing a three-play drive with a 31-yard touchdown pass to Jack Miller and hitting Terrelle Brown for a 50-yard catch and run touchdown capping a two-play drive. Late in the half, he led the Thunder on a 10-play, 64-yard drive that ended with his third seven-yard touchdown pass of the half, this time finding Adam Terrini with 1:31 left in the half to give the Thunder a 41-0 lead.
Starting their first drive of the second half at the Elmhurst 33, Stone Watson found the end zone two plays later on a 28-yard scoring scamper. Griffin Bowes established a new career-long with a 46-yard field goal early in the fourth quarter and Wheaton capped the scoring with just over five minutes left when Beamer found Caleb Brink in the end zone for a 17-yard touchdown pass.
Luke Gammichia and Brayden Anthony led the Thunder defense with six tackles apiece with Anthony recording two tackles for loss.. Ben Lokos had five tackles including 2.5 for loss and 1.5 sacks. In addition to Sigler, Caleb Grotelueschen, Ryan Lavanchy and Caleb Egbert also recorded interceptions for the Thunder defense.