Wheaton Academy shuts out Hinsdale South

By Gregg Voss
Daily Herald Correspondent
Updated 4/9/2021 10:39 PM

When you play football in the spring because a pandemic wiped out your fall season, you better be ready for some lane changes.

Wheaton Academy was supposed to play IC Catholic Prep on Friday, but the Knights were dealing with COVID-19 protocol, which meant the Warriors had to find a new opponent.


Enter Hinsdale South, which was looking for a game after its date with Proviso East was scratched.

A little more than 72 hours after scheduling the game on Tuesday, and after a lot of film and three grueling practices, the Warriors watched their defense pitch a shutout in a 30-0 defeat of the Hornets.

Wheaton Academy's defensive line never let the injury-depleted Hornets get into any semblance of an offensive rhythm, forcing two fumbles (both lost) and corralling two interceptions.

"They just keep going after them," Wheaton Academy coach Jim Johanik said. "They're relentless. That's what I'm proud of them for."

The line, consisting of seniors Zachary Smith, Jared Samuelson and Joshua Brunner and junior Peter Johanik, held Hinsdale South to just 16 total yards rushing, including one quarterback sack.

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"Probably the biggest part was our coaches," Samuelson said. "We were up watching film for an hour and a half before every practice, and then on the field for two or three hours. So they really set us up for the game,"

Added Brunner: "In practice, the scout team stepping it up, giving us good looks ... I couldn't ask for anything more,"

The defense could have made junior kicker James Kapitaniuk's 32-yard field goal with 8:42 left in the first half stand, but junior quarterback David Dorn added am 83-yard touchdown pass to senior Andrew LaPlant at 5:54.

The defense took over from there, but got a lot of help when Hinsdale South senior quarterback Donald Lowdermilk got hurt late in the first half and didn't return.

"We obviously knew they were an 8A school, and we knew it would be a dogfight out of the gates, just because they have more numbers and they have size," Peter Johanik said. "But we also knew we were more physical and better coached."


The ace in the hole for Wheaton Academy (3-1) may have been assistant coach Mike Swider -- the former Wheaton College coach who's helping out this season.

"He scouts a team so well," Samuelson said. "He'll give us all their formations and all their plays and craft a game play for each one of those formations."

It was a hard-luck night for Hinsdale South (1-3), as coach Mike Barry had to deal with host of injuries and a fair amount of inexperience.

"We're decimated right now," Barry said. "We had some guys playing tonight where it was their first year playing football. Against a good team like that, it can catch you."

Dorn completed 9 of 17 passes for 145 yards and added 38 yards and a touchdown on the ground.

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