LAKE STATION | Wheeler’s defense pushed the Bearcats above the .500 mark for the first time this season.
The Bearcats limited Lake Station to 133 yards of total offense and kept the Eagles off the scoreboard in a 42-0 Greater South Shore Conference win on Friday.
“These guys are playing with an edge to them,” Wheeler coach Tony Klimczak said. “We have been trying to build that up. The intensity level is great, and we just look to improve on that.”
Wheeler (4-3, 4-1 GSSC) has won four straight since starting the season 0-3 and has allowed 20 points total in those four wins.
“When you start young guys, it just takes time to come together and learn how to play as a team,” Klimczak said of the defense that starts just two seniors.
Wheeler’s offense took control of the game in the first half. The Bearcats outgained the Eagles 248-44 in yardage in the first 24 minutes and scored on four of seven first-half possessions.
Jeremy Truchan, who finished with 214 yards of total offense and three scores, started the scoring with a 17-yard touchdown pass to Kyle Burch on 3rd-and-17.
Truchan later added scoring runs of 27 yards and one yard.
“He’s just really stepped up into a leadership role and taken the team on his shoulders and just brings out the best in everybody else,” Klimczak said.
Keith Back added a two-yard touchdown run late in the first half to put Wheeler up 28-0 at halftime.
Nate Standiford and Chris Gore added rushing touchdowns of 9 and 28 yards, respectively. Wheeler finished with 185 rushing yards, and four players had at least 30 yards on the ground.
“I try to go with the hot hand and (Friday) there was a lot of kids playing well, and that helps for practice because it keeps them motivated, and they know they have to perform if they want the ball,” Klimczak said.
Kyle Gooch led the Eagles (2-5, 2-3 GSSC) with 51 rushing yards. Lake Station had 99 yards of total offense in the second half, compared to 44 in the first.