|Peter Jarrett and Mark Hiben each scored two first-half touchdowns as Wheaton rolled past Benedictine.
Photo by Ralph Greenslade for D3sports.com
The Wheaton football team (1-0) opened the 2012 campaign with a 48-7 victory against Benedictine University (0-1) at McCully Stadium. The Thunder led the Eagles 27-0 at halftime en route to its 30th straight victory in non-conference play during the regular season. Wheaton, ranked 15th in the preseason D3football.com Top-25 poll, will travel to Albion College next Saturday for a 1 PM (EDT) kickoff against the Britons.
The Thunder tallied 545 yards of total offense, with 289 passing yards and 256 rushing yards. The Thunder recorded 68 plays on the night, averaging eight yards per play. Benedictine had 178 yards of offense in the game, with 51 rushing yards and 127 yards through the air.
Senior linebacker Pat Dansdill tallied a team-high seven total tackles, including a tackle for lost yardage to lead the Thunder defense. Brandon Dykstra and Garrett Cook each registered six total tackles. Brett Anderson recorded five total tackles, including two tackles for lost yardage (-25 yards). Matt McReynolds made five solo tackles, with two passes broken-up.
Benedictine quarterback Cyle Schultz completed 16 of his 29 passing attempts for 127 yards and he scored the Eagles' lone touchdown with a four-yard TD run in the fourth quarter. Chris Schultz caught six passes for 60 yards. Ryan Stec led the Benedictine defense with 10 total tackles.
Jarrett gave Wheaton a 6-0 lead on an 8-yard touchdown run with 11:30 left to play in the first quarter. Wheaton's next two plays were touchdown passes from Meador to Hiben, the first a three-yard connection and the second a 23-yard TD toss to extend Wheaton's lead to 20-0 early in the second quarter. Jarrett reached the end zone again on an 8-yard run with 9:54 remaining in the first half to give Wheaton a 27-0 lead it would hold at halftime.
Morgan Cook caught a 33-yard touchdown pass from Roberts with 3:58 left in the third quarter to extend Wheaton's lead to 34-0. Roberts added a two-yard touchdown pass and an 11-yard touchdown pass in the fourth quarter to increase the hosts' advantage to 48-0. Cyle Schultz scored Benedictine's lone touchdown with 36 seconds remaining in the game.