Wheaton, Ill. – The Wheaton football team dropped its first game of the season, in a 28-6 loss to North Central. Wheaton is now 8-1 on the season and 5-1 in the CCIW. North Central, is now 9-0 overall and 6-0 in league play to secure a share of the CCIW Championship.Wheaton will close out the regular season next Saturday at Millikin in a 1 PM kickoff.
The Cardinals scored two first-quarter touchdowns on nine and 19 yard passes to take a 14-0 lead. Wheaton reached the scoreboard with 12:01 remaining in the second quarter when Scott Roche kicked a 39-yard field goal to cut the Cardinals' lead to 14-3. North Central's Nick Kukuc scored on a 20-yard run with 6:28 left in the second quarter to give the guests a 21-3 lead they would hold at halftime.
Roche kicked a 33-yard field goal with 13:25 remaining in the game to trim the Cardinals' lead to 21-6. North Central secured the victory with 4:05 remaining in the game on a 13-yard touchdown pass for the 28-6 final score.
Wheaton had a season-low 196 yards of offense, rushing for 65 yards, with 131 passing yards. North Central had 304 offensive yards, with 129 passing yards and 175 rushing yards. Junior quarterback Garrett Meador filled in for injured quarterback Jordan Roberts Meador was 15-of-35 passing, for 131 yards. Justin Zeller caught four passes for yards and Freddy Ellis had four receptions for 37 yards. Rocky Gingg ran the ball 12 times for 37 yards.
Safety Brian McMullen and linebacker Jordan Chapman each recorded 11 total tackles to lead the Thunder defense, as McMullen also forced a fumble. JD East made nine tackles, with 2-1/2 sacks (11 yards) and a forced fumble. Robert Ramsay made eight total tackles, with three tackles for loss (-9 yards), including a sack of five yards.
North Central quarterback Spencer Stanek completed 10 of his 17 passing attempts for 110 yards, with two touchdown passes. Nick Kukuc ran for 91 yards on 13 carries, with a touchdown. Andy Stuursma caught seven passes for 89 yards, with two touchdown receptions for the Cardinals. Cardinal linebacker Matt Winger made 13 tackles, with two tackles for loss.