Wheaton Academy's football players made their kindergarten teachers proud Saturday afternoon.
The Warriors showed they could share, spreading their 8 touchdowns among six players in a 56-0 victory at Guerin in River Grove.
"The guys came off an exciting win last week (56-52 at Walther Lutheran) and we wanted to make sure they didn't have a letdown," Warriors coach T.J. Ragan said. "They had a great week of practice and were ready to play."
The Warriors' fun started with the opening kickoff, returned by senior John Mark Wiersema 87 yards for a touchdown. After the Warriors (2-5, 2-2 Suburban Christian Conference Gold Division) recovered Graham Cote's pooch kickoff at the Guerin 36-yard line, it took Wheaton Academy just six plays to score another touchdown, this one on senior quarterback Nate Martinez's 5-yard keeper. Less than four minutes into the game, the Warriors led 14-0.
They were just as successful on their next possession. This one took 8 plays and went 90 yards, ending when junior running back John Gemmel took a pitch from Martinez and ran right for a 12-yard touchdown with 25.1 seconds left in the first quarter.
"I think that was the best first quarter we've played," Ragan said.
"It was good," senior receiver/safety Matthew Lindsay added. "Last week we came out flat, so this week our goal was to come out and hit them first. I think we did a good job of doing that."
Gemmel enjoyed scoring so much he took another turn at it in the second quarter, this time going 38 yards on a 1-play drive for a 28-0 lead. Lindsay made it 35-0 when he returned an interception 45 yards for a touchdown and a 35-0 halftime lead.
"My teammates did a good job blocking," Lindsay said. "I only had to beat one guy."
The Warriors added 7- and 5-yard touchdown runs by Justin Sargeant and a 2-yard TD run by senior Conrad Devin in the second half.
Meanwhile, the Warriors defense dominated. Guerin (1-5, 0-4) gained a net 3 yards rushing, 74 yards of total offense, most of it coming through the air against the Warriors reserves in the second half.
"Last week we gave up 52 points, which is unacceptable, so we worked really hard this week trying to improve, learning our assignments," Lindsay said. "I think we did a good job and showed all the hard work we put into it."
The Warriors find themselves still in contention for the SCC Gold title and for the IHSA playoffs despite a rough start to the season.
"We're really trying to turn it around," Lindsay said. "We only have four losses, so we're still in it. We're trying just to pick it up and keep going as the season goes."