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Wolfe, Wilmington ground out win

11/03/2012, 9:45pm CDT
By Dennis Nelson

Wilmington’s Mike Wolfe rushed for 175 yards and four touchdowns in the Wildcats’ 48-8 win over St. Joseph-Ogden in the second round of the Class 4A playoffs.

Wilmington’s running back Mike Wolf (13) runs for a 12 yard touchdown in the first quarter against ST. Joseph Ogden at Wilmington, Saturday November, 3, 2012. | Ray Luna ~ For Sun-Times Media

Wilmington and St. Joseph-Ogden was tabbed a classic battle between a stingy defense and explosive offense.

That meant something had to give and it was the Spartans during the Wildcats’ 48-8 Class 3A second-round victory Saturday night in Wilmington.

Wilmington’s offense erupted for 41 first-half points and its defense limited the high-powered St. Joseph-Ogden (9-2) offense to 13 yards through two quarters.

The result sets up a quarterfinal matchup between 11th-seeded Wilmington (10-2) and second-seeded Newman Central Catholic (12-0) next weekend in Wilmington. The time and date of the contest will be released by the Illinois High School Association Monday afternoon.

Mike Wolfe (13 carries, 175 yards, four touchdowns) and Chris Tworek (11 carries, 84 yards, two touchdowns) combined for five first-half touchdowns as Wilmington advances to the quarterfinal round of the state playoffs for the first time in four years.

“We just clicked,” Wilmington coach Jeff Reents said. “That’s as good of a half of playoff football I’ve seen. I’ve been here 19 years and we’ve had some good ones. But, that half ranks right up there.”

It was the third time Wilmington eliminated No. 3 St. Joseph-Ogden from the state playoffs in the last five years. St. Joseph-Ogden came into the game averaging 36.1 points per contest.

“I think we opened everybody’s eyes with this game,” O’Brien said. “They came in here 9-1 and everyone’s shocked right now. They had a strong offense, but we took it to them.”

After its defense forced a three-and-out, Wilmington was faced with the same situation on its first possession. However, Austin Skoryi’s 37-yard run on a draw play on third-and-28 gave the hosts a first down on the Spartan 16.

Two plays later, Wolfe ran 12 yards for a score to start the onslaught.

Wolfe added touchdown runs of 49 and 15 yards in the first quarter, staking the Wildcats to a 20-0 lead. In the second quarter, Tworek took over, scoring from one and 33 yards away. Wolfe put the finishing touches on a dominating first half with a 5-yard touchdown run with 12.8 seconds to go in the second quarter. Wilmington led 41-0 at the half.

On the defensive side, Andy Rodawald’s interception set up Wolfe’s second touchdown run in the first quarter. Alex Zlomie had an interception at the end of the first quarter to end a St. Joseph-Ogden drive.

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