Wheaton Academy overcomes mistakes, St. Edward
Despite four turnovers, the Wheaton Academy Warriors football team beat the St. Edward Green Wave 21-7 on Friday night in Elgin.
St. Edward aided the Warriors with its seven fumbles with five resulting in turnovers. Green Wave coach Mike Ronaldo said the turnovers and mistakes will cloud what he believes is a step forward for his team.
"We played a ton better than last week," Ronaldo said. "We just made too many mistakes. We had opportunities across the board and we didn't make the plays we normally make."
The Warriors also overcame 10 penalties for 95 yards thanks to a pair of touchdowns by junior wide receiver Alex Ventimilla.
Wheaton Academy coach Brad Thornton said the team struggled all week in practice, but ultimately execution put the Warriors over the edge.
"We always looked to clean up our execution errors from week one," Thornton said. "It was a challenge for our guys and I'll tell you what I told them. We had a bad week of practice and it showed up in the way that we started that game."
The Warriors turned the ball over on both of their first quarter possessions with junior quarterback Shane Baumgarten's first pass being intercepted by junior safety Joe Sacco and a fumble being recovered by St. Edward.
St. Edward senior running back James Briscoe finished the first quarter with a 25-yard run to set up the Green Wave inside the red zone. Briscoe finished the drive with a 5-yard run for a touchdown to put St. Edward up 7-0.
Warriors senior wide receiver Micah Nickols caught a tipped ball on the next Wheaton possession and raced for a 51-yard touchdown catch to tie it at 7-7.
With 1:32 left in the half, Baumgarten found Ventimilla in the end zone on a 27-yard pass to put the Warriors ahead 14-7 at halftime.
Baumgartner threw another interception to Sacco on the opening drive of the third and another on the next drive. St. Edward stalled out on both drives, failing to score.
A fumbled snap on a punt by the Green Wave gave Wheaton Academy the ball back inside the St. Edward red zone. Ventimilla scored with 7:07 remaining for the eventual 21-7 final.
St. Edward (0-2) will look for its first win next week against Christ the King. Wheaton Academy (2-0) will take an undefeated record to Elmhurst to face IC Catholic Prep.