NAPERVILLE, Ill. – Wheaton (Ill.) defeated No. 8 North Central (Ill.) 35-21 on Saturday afternoon at North Central’s Benedetti-Wehrli Stadium, giving the Thunder the Little Brass Bell trophy. The win marked Wheaton’s first against the Cardinals since a 28-24 Thunder victory in Naperville in 2007.
Wheaton snapped the Cardinals’ 21-game CCIW winning streak with Saturday’s effort.
The win puts the Thunder in a three-way tie for first-place in the CCIW with North Central and Elmhurst all holding identical 5-1 records. Wheaton could win at least a share of the CCIW Championship if the Thunder can close out the regular season with a victory against North Park. It would give the Thunder an opportunity of at least a share of its first CCIW football championship since 2006.
|WHEATON (ILL.) at NORTH CENTRAL (ILL.)|
The Thunder racked up 480 yards of total offense, passing for 380 yards, with 100 rushing yards. North Central had 442 yards of offense, passing for 334 and rushing for 108 yards.
Quarterback Jordan Roberts completed 32 of his 46 passing attempts for 380 yards with two touchdown passes. Roberts ran for a team-high 46 yards, with two touchdown runs. Sophomore receiver Mark Hiben caught 12 passes for 127 yards and Morgan Cook caught 11 passes for 181 yards, with one touchdown catch.
Senior linebacker Pat Dansdill led an outstanding effort by the Thunder defense with 14 total tackles, including one tackle for lost yardage (minus-9 yards) and a key interception return for a touchdown. CJ Nightingale and Brett Anderson each recorded seven total tackles. Anderson added a tackle for loss (minus-6 yards), with a forced fumble and a fumble recovery. Wheaton forced four fumbles on the day.
The Thunder never trailed in the game as Wheaton reached the scoreboard first when Roberts threw a two-yard touchdown pass to fullback Stephen Seitz with 4:10 left in the first quarter. The touchdown concluded a methodical 17-play drive of 87 yards.
The Cardinals tied the game at 7-7 on a one-yard touchdown run with 11:25 remaining in the second quarter. Roberts led a quick strike by Wheaton when he connected with Morgan Cook on a 61-yard touchdown toss as Wheaton held a 14-7 lead at halftime.
Roberts reached the end zone on a pair of touchdown runs (six yards and five yards) in the third quarter to increase Wheaton’s lead to 28-7 at the end of the quarter.
The Cardinals’ first touchdown of the second half was a 47-yard touchdown pass with 13:53 remaining in the fourth quarter to cut Wheaton’s lead to 28-14. Thunder linebacker Pat Dansdill secured the win for the Thunder with a 72-yard fumble recovery for a touchdown to increase Wheaton’s lead to 35-14 with 4:49 left in the game. North Central scored on a 10-yard touchdown pass with 2:05 remaining in the game to trim the Thunder lead to 35-21.
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