#19-Ranked Wheaton Thunder tops Elmhurst 49-21
Wheaton, Ill. – The Wheaton College football team earned a 49-21 victory against visiting Elmhurst College (3-2/1-1 CCIW) under warm and sunny conditions in front a Homecoming crowd at McCully Stadium on Saturday afternoon. Wheaton, ranked 19th in this week's D3football.com Top-25 poll, is now 4-1 on the year and 1-1 in CCIW play. Wheaton will travel to North Park next Saturday afternoon for a 2 PM kickoff in Chicago against the Vikings.
Thunder quarterback Garrett Meador threw for a career-high 422 yards as he completed 31 of his 45 passing attempts with four TD passes and no interceptions. Three Thunder receivers surpassed the 100-yard milestone, led by Teddy Watkins' 140 yards, on seven receptions, with two TD catches. Justin Zeller caught nine passes for 124 yards, with one touchdown grab and freshman Mark Hiben caught six passes for 103 yards and one TD catch. Sophomore Justin Swider led the Thunder rushing attack with 42 yards on 12 carries, with one touchdown run.
Senior Jordan Langs led the Thunder with nine tackles. Sam VanHeest made seven tackles, with a quarterback sack. Jordan Higgins and Richard Jacobson each made six total tackles. Higgins forced a fumble and Jacobson recorded two tackles for loss, including a quarterback sack. Tony Vargyas snatched an interception and JD East recorded two sacks (-16 yards) in his five total tackles.
Scottie Williams led the Elmhurst offense with 194 yards on 26 carries. Joe Furco tossed the football for 317 yards and three touchdowns as he completed 24 of his 43 passing attempts. Rodney Payton caught seven passes for 82 yards, with one touchdown catch. George DeMaria led the Bluejays' defense with 10 tackles, including a tackle for loss and a forced fumble.
Wheaton jumped out to a 16-0 lead in the first quarter with a 15-yard touchdown pass to Watkins, a one-yard TD run by Swider and a 25-yard field goal by Scott Roche in the opening quarter.
Jesse Geary increased Wheaton's lead to 23-0 on a two-yard touchdown run with 10:57 left in the second quarter. Elmhurst's first score of the day came with 9:32 left in the second quarter on a 31-yard touchdown pass for a 23-7 Wheaton lead. Meador connected with Hiben for a 28-yard touchdown pass with 8:03 left in the first half to increase Wheaton's lead to 29-7. Wheaton held a 36-7 lead at halftime thanks to an 18-yard TD pass from Meador to Watkins with 3:57 left in the first half.
Furco tossed an 18-yard touchdown pass for the guests early in the third quarter to cut Wheaton's lead to 36-14. Meador connected with Zeller on a 23-yard touchdown pass with 5:51 left in the third quarter to increase the Thunder advantage to 43-14. Roche booted field goals of 32 and 22 yards to increase the 'Orange and Blue' lead to 49-14. The final points of the game were the result of a 28-yard Elmhurst touchdown pass with 13:05 left in the game to account for the final Wheaton advantage of 49-21.
With today's win, Wheaton now leads the all-time series with the Bluejays 53-19-7 and has won 12 of the last 13 meetings between the two conference rivals. The Bluejays have not won at Wheaton since a 52-21 victory in 1982.