St. Francis leaves no doubt in hometown
Home away from home has been very good for St. Francis' football team.
The Spartans also have been very good at Wheaton College, beating Metro Suburban Blue foe Wheaton Academy 40-0 Saturday, creating a running clock the entire second half a second straight game.
"They're cross-town rivals so, I mean, we just want to hold down our hometown of Wheaton," said St. Francis defensive end Luke Meyer.
The game was marred by more than 20 penalties and 200 yards of lost yardage and also by an injury to Wheaton Academy junior cornerback Charles "Tre" Becks after he made a tackle with 7:21 left in the second quarter. St. Francis (3-1, 1-0) led 18-0 at the time.
Becks lay on the turf for about 20 minutes while being examined for a spine injury before he was taken by ambulance to Central DuPage Hospital in Winfield as a precautionary measure. Warriors coach Brad Thornton later reported X-ray and CT scans came back negative and Becks would return home later in the day.
"He's one of my really good friends and we've been in a ton of classes in school, so it was just tough. I know he's good, so I'll just go see him and he should be fine," said Warriors quarterback David Dorn.
Already banged-up Wheaton Academy (2-2, 0-2) lost one of Dorn's protectors, lineman Dan Kowalczyk, also to injury.
Aside from its penalties, St. Francis played fine on all counts. Defensive linemen Meyer, Ryan Holleman, Connor Schmidt and T.J. McMillen and middle linebacker Michael Bumpus dominated scrimmage, barely allowing any forward progress aside from Trevor Donna's isolated 47-yard run and Javonte Rucker's 21-yard catch.
Jackson Gerard intercepted 2 passes and Michael D'Orazio tackled the Warriors' punter in the end zone for a safety.
Shortly after D'Orazio's play St. Francis quarterback Tommy Rittenhouse dropped a snap, calmly picked it up and lofted a 25-yard pass to Ryan French for that combo's second touchdown. Josh Winslow's kick made the score 40-0 at halftime.
Rittenhouse finished 15-of-19 passing for 269 yards and 3 touchdowns and also ran 59 yards for another score. Ben Radel scored on runs of 13 and 6 yards and caught a 12-yard touchdown pass.
"I would get there, great hole, big hole, run through it," Radel said. "Then, the receivers were blocking, so it just felt good. Everyone's doing their job and that's all you've got to do."
Thornton knows Wheaton Academy's job.
"I told our team at the end that the way we respond to losses like this reveals your character as a team," he said.