Chicago, Ill. – The Wheaton Thunder football team, ranked 17th in this week's D3Football.com top-25 poll, defeated North Park University 28-0 on Saturday afternoon under windy and sunny conditions on Chicago's north side. Today's game at North Park was a quickly paced affair that was played in less than two hours and 15 minutes, with time kept by the officials on the field due to a clock malfunction in the Holmgren Athletic Complex scoreboard.
Wheaton is now 5-1 on the year, with a 2-1 record in CCIW play. North Park is 3-3 overall, with a 0-3 record in league play. The Thunder will be at Carthage College next Saturday night.
Wheaton had 293 yards of offense, rushing for 175 yards, with 118 passing yards. The Vikings recorded 223 yards of offense, with 182 yards on the ground and 41 passing yards.
Thunder quarterback Garrett Meador completed 11 of his 18 passing attempts for 118 yards, with one touchdown pass. Meador also ran for 25 yards with a touchdown run. Jesse Geary carried the ball 17 times for 94 yards, with one touchdown run. Mark Hiben caught three passes for 36 yards, with a touchdown grab and Teddy Watkins had three receptions for 31 yards.
Garrett Cook recorded 10 total tackles for the Thunder defense, including three tackles for lost yardage. Senior linebacker Austin Driggers recorded nine tackles and fellow senior #Jordan Chapman# made six tackles.
Matt Hassan led the Vikings' offense with 105 yards on 15 carries and he also caught a pass for 26 yards. Andrew Saltzman led the North Park defense with eight total tackles.
The two teams played through a quickly paced scoreless first quarter. Wheaton reached the scoreboard when Jesse Geary crossed the end zone on an 11-yard run with 12:43 to play in the second quarter for a 7-0 Wheaton lead. Geary's touchdown run capped a 12-play drive of 76 yards. On the ensuing North Park drive, the Vikings fumbled on their own 12-yard line with Wheaton's JD East recovering the ball at the hosts' eight-yard line. On the very next play after the fumble recovery, Meador scampered into the end zone on an eight-yard touchdown run to extend Wheaton's lead to 14-0 with 10:57 remaining in the first half. Wheaton remained a 14-0 leader at halftime of today's contest.
Geary's second touchdown of the day came with 12:03 left in the game on a two-yard TD run to give Wheaton a 21-0 lead. Geary's score capped an eight-play drive of 60 yards that saw Geary run for 37 of Wheaton's 60 yards on the drive. Meador extended Wheaton's lead to 28-0 with 7:79 left in the game when he threw an eight-yard touchdown pass to freshman receiver #Mark Hiben# as he found the rookie in the back of the end zone.