Time of Poss.
ELMHURST, Ill. - The Elmhurst football team slipped to 1-1 in the CCIW following a 40-15 loss to fourth-ranked Wheaton College.
The Bluejays scored the first points of the game and led the fourth-ranked Thunder after one quarter. Elmhurst trailed by just one possession at halftime and was down by just 11 points after three quarters.
Elmhurst started quickly, jumping out to an 8-0 lead on the team's opening possession. Starting at the Wheaton 49-yard line, the Bluejays drove to the goal line in just two plays. After being pushed back for four yards and a penalty, the Bluejays faced a third-and-goal from the 10-yard line. Orlando Hernandez hit Hasahn Austin for a 10-yard touchdown pass to put Elmhurst 6-0. Using the swinging gate extra point formation, Jake Tahaney took the snap and dove into the end zone for a two-point conversion to put Elmhurst up 8-0 just four minutes into the contest.
Wheaton (4-0) pulled to within a point on their next possession after Curtis McWilliams hit Zach Lindquist on a 28-yard touchdown pass over the middle. The Thunder had three more trips inside the Elmhurst 20-yard line in the second quarter, but the Bluejays defense kept Wheaton out of the end zone. Wheaton settled for three Stefan Knoerr field goals to build a 16-8 lead at the half.
A fourth field goal from Knoerr midway through the third quarter extended Wheaton's lead to 19-8.
The Thunder's offense exploded in the fourth, scoring three straight touchdowns. Sola Olateju scored on a five-yard run and TJ Williams added a pair of 50-yard scampers down the sideline for touchdowns.
Elmhurst ended its scoring drought late in the fourth quarter as Hernandez connected with Matt Brachmann for a one-yard touchdown pass.
Facing the top-ranked defense in the nation, the Bluejays finished with 222 yards of total offense. Elmhurst struggled with its running game, finishing with just 41 yards on 28 attempts. Elmhurst's defense limited the high-powered Thunder offense to just 402 yards, but just 251 after the first three quarters.
Tahaney led the Bluejays on the ground, carrying eight times for 91 yards. Hernandez completed 13-of-23 attempts for 147 yards and a pair of touchdowns in the loss.
Williams led Wheaton's attack with 117 yards and two touchdowns on just nine carries. Olateju added 88 yards on 13 carries while McWilliams completed 17-of-25 attempts for 236 yards and a touchdown.
Victor Ogbebor led Elmhurst's defense with 10 tackles, including a tackle for loss. Tyler Hosmanadded nine stops, including 2.5 tackles for loss. Angel Mata added an interception for the Bluejays' defense in the loss.
Elmhurst (1-2, 1-1 CCIW) hosts Augustana College next Saturday, September 30, as part of the College's annual Homecoming Weekend.