WW South gets a kick out of victory vs. Metea Valley
Powered by the strong right leg of record-setting junior Jack Olsen, Wheaton Warrenville South claimed its opener by a wide margin Friday night without scoring a single touchdown.
Olsen kicked eight field goals and his defense added a safety in a 26-0 defeat of visiting Metea Valley. The Tigers kicker opened the night's scoring with a 48-yard field in the second quarter and that was only the beginning. He set an IHSA record with eight field goals made and his only miss came on a 52-yard boot that hit the crossbar in the third quarter.
"Last year I missed my first one and then it was kind of a rough season," Olsen said. "But with kickers, once you can make that first one it gets rolling."
Did it ever. After a scoreless first quarter Wheaton Warrenville South got on the scoreboard with that first long kick by Olsen, the first of his trio of 3-pointers in the second quarter.
Three more field goals followed in the third quarter -- despite the ever-so-close 52-yard try -- and the hosts had a comfortable lead without the benefit of scoring a touchdown. That near miss would have equaled a national high school record of nine makes in a game, but considering Olsen's previous high, eight is still mighty impressive. Last year as a sophomore he didn't have a multi-field goal game.
"I got under that one (miss) a little, but I can't complain too much. This was the best game of my life," said Olsen, who credits long snapper Brad George and holder Joe Ives with making his job easier.
"My snapper is one of the top guys in the country and Ives has such great hands. Even so, I couldn't have done this if the offense didn't keep getting me in position."
The Tigers offense got plenty of help from a defense that had three interceptions and a pair of fumble recoveries, plus Olsen also dominated with his punts and kickoffs. Touchback after touchback forced the Mustangs to start possessions at the 20-yard line following Tigers scores, and twice Olsen had punts downed inside the 10-yard line.
"He was outstanding. He's an all-state kicker," Metea Valley coach Ben Kleinhans said.
"Every kickoff was in the end zone and our defense did a tremendous job keeping them out of the end zone. When that happens you don't expect the other guys to make eight field goals."
While both defenses were solid in the first half, the Mustangs turned the ball over three times, making life difficult for their offense while giving the hosts good field position which often meant points on the board thanks to the kicking leg of Olsen. Metea Valley muffed two punts -- one of which they recovered -- lost a fumble and threw an interception in their scoreless first half.
"He's just such a weapon for us," Tigers coach Ron Muhitch said of his kicker/punter. "Last year was frustrating as we lost some close games and Jack missed his first three kicks. But this year I'm so impressed with his accuracy. The distance is one thing, but his accuracy is so much better this year."