Wheaton, Ill. - The Wheaton College Thunder football was a 49-15 victor against Olivet College on Saturday afternoon at McCully Stadium in the final non-conference game of the regular season. With the victory, Wheaton stretches its non-conference winning streak in regular season games to 29. The streak dates back to 2002.
Wheaton is now 3-0 on the year, while Olivet falls to 0-4 in 2011.Wheaton will open conference play next Saturday in a 6 PM kickoff at Illinois Wesleyan University.
Wheaton recorded 511 yards of offense in today's game as the Thunder ran for 336 yards and passes for 175. Olivet had 229 total yards, with 130 yards on the ground and 99 passing yards.
Sophomore tailback Justin Swider ran for a career-high 128 yards in his first collegiate start with two touchdown runs. Swider carried the ball 12 times for an average of 10.7 yards per carry. Freshman Jesse Geary had 10 carries for 64 yards, with one touchdown run and David Sjelin ran for 60 yards on six carries. Quarterback Garrett Meador completed 13 of his 20 passing attempts for 167 yards, with one touchdown pass. Griffin Kuhn relieved Meador under center and ran for 58 yards on the day. Tight end JJ Clark caught four passes for 47 yards and senior Teddy Watkins caught four passes for 32 yards.
Brett Anderson led the Thunder defense with six tackles, including 1-1/2 tackles for lost yardage of nine yards. Senior Robert Ramsay made four tackles, with 1-1/2 tackles for lost yardage of seven yards. Safety's Brian McMullen and Jordan Langs each recorded an interception for the Thunder.
Olivet's Mike Martin led the Comets' offense with 98 rushing yards and one touchdown. Quarterback Daniel Bolster completed six of his 15 passing attempts for 85 yards, with one touchdown. Aaron Breneman made a game-high 11 total tackles to lead Olivet's defense.
Wheaton took a 6-0 lead in today's game when Watkins scored on a 25-yard touchdown run on the opening drive of the afternoon.
Geary extended Wheaton's lead to 13-10 with 12:04 left in the second quarter when he reached the end zone on a four-yard touchdown run. On the next drive, the Thunder defense stopped Olivet on three-and-out to give Wheaton the ball back. On the third play of the ensuing Wheaton drive, Swider broke free for a 41-yard touchdown run to extend Wheaton's lead to 20-0 with 9:15 left in the second quarter. Senior kicker Scott Roche set Wheaton's career field goal record with 4:21 left in the first half when he booted a 38-yard field goal, the 33rd made kick of his career. Swider helped close out Wheaton's first- half scoring with nine-seconds left in the opening half when he reached the end zone on a five-yard touchdown run for a 29-0 Wheaton lead at halftime.
Olivet opened the third-quarter scoring a 30-yard touchdown pass as 12:55 remained in the third quarter for a 29-6 Wheaton lead. On the next drive Wheaton scored when Meador threw a 23-yard touchdown pass to Morgan Cook for a 36-6 Thunder lead. The Olivet defense registered a safety with 7:24 remaining in the third quarter, making the score 36-8 in favor of the Thunder.
Olivet reached the scoreboard to open the fourth quarter when Martin scored on a two-yard touchdown run with 11:31 remaining in the game and Wheaton leading 36-15. Thunder senior Justin Zeller scored on a 16-yard touchdown run with 10:24 left in the game to extend Wheaton's advantage to 42-15. Beau Benton registered Wheaton's final touchdown of the game when he scored on a three-yard run with 5:52 left in the game to account for the 49-15 final score.