IWU football clicks on both sides of the ball

By James Stein Nov 5, 2021
Photo: Levi Briggs
Photo: Levi Briggs

The Illinois Wesleyan fighting Titans took on North Park Vikings this past weekend and came out with victory in a stunning fashion. The Titans won 56-6 in large part due to a surge in the running game. With the dub, Wesleyan’s record moved to 3-5 overall and 3-4 in the College Conference of Illinois and Wisconsin (CCIW). 

 

The Titans were rolling both offensively and defensively as they powered through the Vikings all game to record  They finished with 614 yards of total offense while holding the Vikings to 287 total yards. 

 

This victory came at the hands of a strong run game that ended with a total of 429 rushing yards, the most rushing yards in a single game since 1965. The Titans’ defensive performance also held North Park to only six points all day. Much of the success can be  attributed to the linemen on both sides of the ball who controlled the line of scrimmage for the entire game. 

 

The Titans started off strong by scoring on the opening drive of the game. They put together a 9-play, 75-yard drive that ended with a 4-yard touchdown pass from sophomore quarterback Sage Shindler to senior Zack Tencza. 

 

The next drive for Wesleyan picked up where they left off by ending in a 3-yard rushing touchdown by senior Anthony Marre, bringing the score to 14-0 Titans. The drive was 13 plays long for 99 yards and kept alive by a penalty on North Park for running into the kicker. 

 

The drive ensued  by the Vikings was unsuccessful, as they were stopped on 4th-and-2nd by junior Conor Murphy and freshman Zach McNees. The Titans followed the stop with a quick four-play drive to open the second quarter. The drive ended with a 28-yard rushing touchdown by senior Wesley Watson. 

 

The Titans  struck again later into the second quarter on a 13-yard touchdown pass from Shindler to junior Charlie Hamilton. North Park followed it up with a touchdown of their own before missing the extra point. The score was 28-6 when halftime rolled around.

 

Success continued in the second half for IWU as their first drive ended with a 63-yard rushing touchdown by Marre. The touchdown was followed by a fumble recovery for the Titans on a Viking drive. Senior Tyler Maple forced the fumble, which was recovered by junior Fernando Chavez at the IWU three yard line. 

 

Marre continued his dominant performance on the following drive, when he broke off a 91-yard touchdown run to put IWU up 42-6. The final points in the quarter came for IWU when sophomore Seth Albin ran for a 32-yard touchdown, leaving 4:36 left on the clock and the Titans up 49-6.

 

In the fourth quarter, the Titans scored once again on a pass from freshman Ryan Saxe to junior Matt Young for a 10-yard touchdown, bringing the final score to 56-6 for the Titan win. 

 

Marre recorded 243 yards and three touchdowns on the ground, while bringing in five catches for 72 yards in the air. Albin added 99 rushing yards and a touchdown, along with two receptions for 16. 

 

Shindler ended with 15-18 on passing with 161 yards and two touchdowns. Defensively, sophomore Connor Nigro led IWU with six tackles and McNees had three tackles along with a sack for nine yards. 

 

Illinois Wesleyan football will next travel to Wheaton, Ill. on Saturday, Nov. 6 to take on the sixth-ranked Wheaton College Thunder. Kickoff is scheduled for 1:00 p.m.

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