Wheaton Academy clobbers Urbana
The Wheaton Academy offense was given everything it could handle Friday night in West Chicago. However, the challenge came from an unexpected place: the Warriors' own defense and special teams.
The Warriors were productive in every phase of the game. They scored a pair of touchdowns defensively and added another on a punt return to go along with a solid night from the offense on the ground to claim a 42-6 victory over Urbana.
Despite the slanted final score the action started slowly for Wheaton Academy. A penalty took an early touchdown run off the scoreboard before they battled their way into the end zone with a scoring plunge from running back Augustus Walakehwon with 4:29 to play in the opening quarter.
It was all Warriors from that point forward as they established a physical approach on offense that reflected the efforts from the rest of their team.
"Our word for this game was effort," said Wheaton Academy quarterback Shane Baumgarten. "The line was amazing … our backs, we know they can run, they are power backs. So it's just give them the ball and see what they can do."
That emphasis on the ground game paid off. Every touchdown the offense scored came via their running game.
"The approach coming into the game was for me and (Walakehwon) to switch off, run the ball, and pound the rock," said Wheaton Academy running back Stephen Garner, who ran for 29 yards and a touchdown on 6 carries and caught a pass for an 18-yard gain. "It was about doing all we could to get the W."
Not was Garner responsible for his contributions on offense, but he also added one of the defensive touchdowns the Warriors scored when he scooped up an Urbana fumble early in the second quarter and took it all the way to give his team momentum and a lead that they would not relinquish.
"I was coming off the edge and Trevor Donna, our outside linebacker, stripped the ball out," Garner said. "I saw it, scooped and scored, ran it in."
Fumble recovery touchdowns became a bit of a theme for Wheaton Academy as they added another one late in the fourth quarter when Warriors defender Fabian Alvarez grabbed a loose ball and scrambled nearly 60 yards.
Yet, Urbana salvaged what was left of their night on the ensuing kickoff as Printiss Turner fielded the ball and ran it back the length of the field to help his team avoid the shutout.
The Warriors will look to keep things going next week when they travel to St. Edward.