Thunder strikes for the final time at McCully this season

November 9, 2017

Saturday, Nov. 4, marked the last home game for the Wheaton Thunder Football team’s 2017 season. The Thunder toppled the Augustana Vikings 53-10. Wheaton’s offense had a season high of 636 yards of offense with 314 passing yards and 322 rushing yards. Augustana’s offense was held by the Thunder defense to 221 total yards of offense.

The Vikings struck early in the first quarter with a 41-yard field goal within the first four minutes of the game. The Thunder came back with a 72-yard touchdown run by freshman TJ Williams, putting Wheaton in the lead 6-3 after a failed extra-point attempt. In the third quarter, senior Sola Olateju broke free for a 76-yard touchdown run, giving the Thunder a 33-3 lead. Senior Jerome Grey gave the Thunder their last touchdown of the game with 1:20 remaining in the third quarter.

Olateju led the Thunder with 194 rushing yards, 88 receiving yards and three touchdowns. After last week’s game, Olateju is 42 yards away from claiming second place on Wheaton’s all-time rushing list. Williams racked up 77 rushing yards.

Sophomore Phillip Nichols received for 66 yards on six passes. Senior Chase White caught four catches for 58 yards and senior Zach Lindquist collected 52 yards on four catches.

Senior Curtis McWilliams started at quarterback for the Thunder. He collected 42 yards before taking a rough hit in the first quarter that put him out for the rest of the game with an ankle injury. McWilliams is not expected to play in this Saturday’s game, which will most likely be the last game for the Thunder this season.

Junior Jesse Furrow took over for McWilliams after his injury. Furrow completed 16 of 26 passes to gain 239 yards with two touchdown passes. Sophomore Dave Beamer went 4-for-6 with 25 yards.

Junior Eric Stevenson led Wheaton’s defense with nine total tackles. Senior Austin Hoover and sophomore Patrick O’Connell both gathered six tackles. O’Connell also registered one and a half sacks. Senior Luke Sahly contributed five tackles and a pass breakup. Senior Luke Smith had three total tackles and the Thunder’s sole interception.

For Wheaton’s special teams, senior Stefan Knoerr had two field goals, both in the second quarter to boost the Thunder’s lead. His second field goal was 46 yards long. Sophomore Griffin Bowes kicked for 546 yards on nine kickoffs, with an average of 60 yards per kick. Receiving, Nichols led the Thunder with one kickoff return for 16 yards and five punt returns for 42 yards. White received one punt for 12 yards. Junior Carter Roberts received one kickoff for nine yards.

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