Marian Central falls to Wheaton Academy in bid for 5th win

Clemson-bound Christian Bentancur has 21 catches for 183 yards and 3 TDs

Marian Central’s Christian Bentancur watches the action against Chicago Hope in varsity football at Woodstock Friday night.

WEST CHICAGO – After Marian Central wide receiver Christian Bentancur made his 21st catch for a 3-yard touchdown, cutting Wheaton Academy’s lead to 10 points with 4:15 remaining, the Hurricanes gave themselves one more opportunity.

Marian recovered the ensuing onside kick, but the Hurricanes’ last chance on offense ended shortly after.

On the first play of the next offensive series, Marian senior quarterback Cale McThenia threw a pass over the middle of the field that was picked off by linebacker Jeremiah Johanik with 3:30 to go.

The Warriors, who had five interceptions in the game, ran out the rest of the clock and secured a 43-33 win in the Chicagoland Christian Conference finale for both teams.

With the loss, Marian Central (4-5, 4-3 CCC) fell a win short of qualifying for the postseason and are unlikely to be among the top four-win teams with enough playoff points to move on. The Hurricanes, who lost three of their final four games to end the season, were trying to make the postseason for the first time since 2017.

Wheaton Academy (8-1, 6-1) has won five games in a row and is headed to the postseason for the fourth time in the past five seasons.

Bentancur entered Friday with 210 career receptions in his four-year varsity career and finishes with 231, the fifth most in IHSA history. The Clemson-bound Bentancur had 21 receptions for 183 yards and three TDs in his final high school game.

Bentancur, who also threw a pair of two-point conversions earlier in the game and jumped on a fumble recovery to set up a scoring drive, also scored on a 21-yard touchdown with 3:45 left in the third, cutting Wheaton Academy’s lead to 28-26. He also had a 6-yard score.

McThenia finished 48-of-66 passing for 417 yards, four total touchdowns and five interceptions. Tyson Jakubowicz had 15 catches for 165 yards and Jacob Sievert added seven catches for 43 yards.

Wheaton Academy was led by running back Brandon Kiebles with 207 yards on 17 carries and three scores. Kiebles raced for a 77-yard touchdown with 7:26 remaining to give Wheaton Academy a 43-26 lead. He also had touchdown runs of 25 and 23 yards.

Brett Kasper finished 5-of-13 passing for 85 yards and three touchdowns for the Warriors, finding Kiebles, Brett Dieter (41 yards receiving) and Zach Moravec for scores in the air.

Dieter had two interceptions for Wheaton Academy, and Gino Spinelli and Kasper each had one.