Time of Poss.
Wheaton, Ill. - The Thunder football team, ranked fourth in this week's D3football.com Top-25 poll, opened CCIW play on Saturday night with a 37-14 victory at home against Carthage (2-1, 0-1 CCIW). Wheaton (3-0, 1-0 CCIW) will travel to Elmhurst next Saturday for a 1:00 p.m. kickoff against the Bluejays.
The Thunder offense totaled 334 yards tonight with 251 rushing yards and 83 passing yards. Wheaton's offensive effort came against a Carthage defense that entered the game ranked first in Division III in scoring (0.0 PPG); second in total defense (139.0 YPG) and 14th in rushing defense (36.0 YPG).
Senior Luke Sahly registered 10 total tackles, including six solo stops. Four and a half of Sahly's tackles were for lost yardage of -22 yards, including one quarterback sack (-8 yards). Chase Greenlee tallied seven total tackles, including three tackles for loss (-6 yards) and a 1-1/2 sacks (-2 yards).
Eric Stevenson recorded seven total tackles and Corey Kennedy added six total tackles. Noah Spielman registered six total tackles, including 2-1/2 tackles for loss (-14 yards) with 1-1/2 sacks (-9 yards). Kyle Fox added an interception. The Wheaton defense held Carthage to 120 yards of offense as the Red Men only ran for three yards and passed for 117 yards.
Carthage attempted a punt to conclude its first drive of the game and the ball sailed over the punter's head and was recovered by Thunder sophomore Jeremy Moore for a safety that gave Wheaton a 2-0 lead with 12:28 remaining in the first quarter. Spencer Peterson ran the ball into the end zone on a 39-yard touchdown run with 6:52 left in the first quarter to increase the hosts' lead to 9-0. Carthage's Jamel Davis scored on a one-yard touchdown run with two-seconds left in the first quarter to cut the Thunder lead to 9-7. Davis' touchdown was setup by a Carthage interception that was returned to the Thunder four-yard line.
Curtis McWilliams connected with Zach Lindquist on a 24-yard touchdown pass to the tight end for a 16-7 Wheaton lead with 11:47 remaining in the first half. The Thunder maintained the 16-7 lead at the halftime intermission.
Peterson tossed a four-yard touchdown pass to Chase White early in the third quarter. White's touchdown extended the Thunder lead to 23-7 with 10:47 remaining in the third quarter.
Peterson reached the end zone on a one-yard touchdown run with 12:22 left in the game to extend the hosts' lead to 30-7. Carthage's James Cobbs caught a 49-yard touchdown pass with 10:57 left in the game to cut the Thunder lead to 30-14. Peterson's third touchdown run of the game accounted for the 37-14 final score. Peterson reached the end zone on a one yard run with 4:51 remaining in the game.
Senior Sola Olateju carried the ball 20 times for 95 yards. Trey Hanley had a team-high three receptions.
Peterson had an impressive evening with 16 carries for 141 rushing yards and three touchdown runs. The sophomore averaged 8.8 yards per carry and he also passed for a four-yard touchdown. Fellow quarterback Curtis McWilliams was 7-of-13 passing on the night as he passed for 79 yards with one touchdown toss.