Wheaton Academy had guts hosting Marian Central, The Associated Press' No. 1 team in Class 5A, on senior day.
The visitors didn't disappoint. The unbeaten Suburban Christian Conference Blue Division leader scored on four of five first-half offensive possessions, plus a punt return and fumble recovery, en route to a 56-16 Hurricanes win on Saturday at West Chicago Community High.
"Against any team we just know we can't turn the ball over and expect good things to happen," said Wheaton Academy coach Ben Wilson. "We were able to move the ball against them. They made some big plays and we didn't, and that was the bottom line."
A Warriors punt for 0 yards, a lost fumble and an interception let Marian Central (7-0, 4-0) start no deeper than the 50-yard line for its first three touchdowns and a 21-0 first-quarter lead.
"It was a little bit mental and a little bit physical," said Wheaton Academy offensive tackle and outside linebacker Trey Spurgeon.
Hurricanes quarterback Chris Streveler, who completed 11 of 13 passes for 174 yards in the first half then rested the second, threw for 2 touchdowns and Sam Calderaro ran 5 yards for another.
Calderaro wove 64 yards on a punt return for another score, then Northern Illinois-bound two-way tackle Scott Taylor grabbed a fumble from midair and rumbled 30 yards for a 35-0 lead at 8:12 of the second quarter.
"We knew as soon as he caught it, we're never going to hear the end of it," joshed Marian coach Ed Brucker.
Aside from Nathan Martinez's fumble recovery, the Warriors' main bright spot of a 42-2 halftime hole was John Gemmel's blocked punt that went for a safety.
"The first half we weren't playing our best because of a lot of mistakes. But the second half we were able to correct a lot of them and improve and hopefully go forward against (Aurora Central) next week," said Warriors outside linebacker and receiver Matt Lindsey, who caught 4 passes for 52 yards.
Under a running clock the entire second half, Wheaton Academy (1-6, 0-4) scored on the second play of the third quarter on defensive tackle Charlie Hamm's fumble recovery and 17-yard sprint to the end zone.
"I've been dreaming about this for seven years," Hamm said. "I've never scored a touchdown before. Yeah, that was big, that was fun."
The Warriors' Isaiah Rosas had more fun late in the third quarter. Quarterback Drew Decker rolled right and passed left for a screen to Rosas, who outran pursuit for a 65-yard touchdown.
"I was proud of the way our kids responded the second half," Wilson said. "Our challenge to them at halftime was to win the second half and our kids came out and we scored a couple of nice touchdowns. A couple of our seniors, Isaiah Rosas and Charlie Hamm, were able to get in the end zone. On senior day it's good to see those guys getting in the end zone."