Time of Poss.
Wheaton, Ill. - The Wheaton Thunder football team earned a 17-0 victory at home on Saturday afternoon against UW-Eau Claire. Wheaton completes its non-conference schedule with 3-0 record. Head coach Mike Swider's program has now won 21 consecutive regular season non-conference games at home, dating back to 2001. The Thunder will have a bye week next weekend and return to action on October 4 when North Park visits McCully Stadium for Wheaton's Homecoming activities.
The Thunder offense tallied 362 yards of offense today, as the hosts ran for 151 yards and passed for 211 yards. The Thunder defense held the Blugolds' offense to 237 yards, with 154 passing yards and 83 yards on the ground.
Thunder quarterback Reece Butler completed 16 of his 29 passing attempts for 209 yards, with one touchdown toss. Luke Thorson caught five of Butler's passes for 86 yards. Senior running back Jesse Geary carried the ball 21 times for 84 yards.
Adam Dansdill led the Wheaton defense with 18 total tackles, including 15 solo stops. Sophomore Caleb Ashby tallied 12 total tackles, with a 52-yard interception return for a touchdown. Senior captain Jared Todd recorded two of Wheaton's five quarterback sacks (-10 yards).
Mark Munger completed 22 of his 35 passing attempts for the Blugolds, with 154 passing yards. Lucas Emmerich caught nine passes for 71 yards and Riley Gebelein carried the ball 10 times for 46 yards.
The two clubs battled through a scoreless first quarter. Wheaton put the first points on the scoreboard with just 1:39 remaining in the second quarter when Thunder placekicker Sam Cote booted a 26-yard field goal to give the Thunder a 3-0 lead. Cote's kick completed a 12-play drive of 63 yards. The Thunder led UW-Eau Claire 3-0 at halftime.
Butler connected with Matt Mitchell for a 26-yard touchdown pass with 11:45 remaining in the fourth quarter to give Wheaton some cushion in a 10-0 lead. The Mitchell touchdown capped a six-play drive of 51 yards. On the ensuing drive for the Blugolds, the guests were attempting a drive when Ashby intercepted a Munger pass and returned it 52 yards down the Blugolds' sideline for a Thunder touchdown. The Ashby touchdown with 9:59 remaining in the game increased Wheaton's lead to 17-0 - the margin that would become the final score.