UNION TWP. | As the old adage goes, the game was much closer than the scoreboard read on Friday night as Times No. 9 Whiting picked up a 43-21 win at Wheeler.
A sack in the end zone less than two minutes into the game went for a safety and gave the Oilers an early 2-0 lead that would not be relinquished. But Whiting was unable to feel comfortable as Wheeler’s triple-option attack kept the Bearcats close.
It was a familiar situation for Whiting, who beat the Bearcats last year for the first time since 2006. In six wins from 2007-2011, Wheeler had outscored the Oilers 304-41.
Both teams played their best football of the night while trading touchdowns in the second quarter. The first touchdown went to Whiting on A.J. Veloz’s 7-yard touchdown pass to Matt Ramirez.
The Bearcats answered a couple of minutes later when Jacob Wasz broke through for an 82-yard touchdown run. Whiting came back with Ethan Young’s 6-yard scoring run and Wheeler countered with a 48-yard touchdown pass from Alex Ruesta to Clayton Thorn with just 41 seconds on the clock.
But the Oilers struck back. With only 7.5 seconds left in the half, Volez hit Keegan Rooke for a 15-yard touchdown pass.
Wheeler came out of the half strong and forced a three-and-out, pulling within two points once again as Ruesta hit Sam Bolla for an 18-yard score, but Whiting eventually proved even stronger.
With just over four minutes remaining in the third quarter, Volez took in a one-yard keeper and Wheeler was unable to answer. Oilers’ fullback Jesse Maynard scored on a 3-yard run and later on an 8-yard run to extend the Whiting advantage.