Quentin Spencer, Wheaton Warrenville South defense stifle St. Charles East, bounce back in a big way

Tigers get three interceptions, four sacks in 24-7 win

ST. CHARLES – There was no question the mindset was different.

Coming into Friday night’s game at St. Charles East, Wheaton Warrenville South had an edge. Losing just a week ago to Geneva did not sit well with the Tigers – and they made it known.

After falling behind early Friday, the Tigers’ defense stifled the Saints, not allowing a point in the final 46:14 of the game in a decisive 24-7 victory in DuKane Conference action at St. Charles East’s Norris Stadium.

WW South senior defensive lineman Charlie Hoover said his team’s mindset at practice all week and coming into Friday night was simple.

“We cannot lose,” said Hoover, who recorded two sacks in the victory. “There’s no other way about it. It was all serious and a lot of competition [at practice].. We knew they had a good quarterback over there, but we know our defense is just even better.”

The Tigers (3-2, 2-1 DuKane Conference) had Saints quarterback Nathan Hayes under pressure for much of the night. Hayes scored on a 33-yard scramble after St. Charles East (1-4, 0-3) recovered an onside kick to begin the game, but was held in check after that.

WW South intercepted three of Hayes’s passes and sacked him four times – one of which was fumbled and the Tigers recovered.

Both coaches knew Friday’s game would be a physical battle, but both gave credit to a stellar effort from the Tigers defense to spoil St. Charles East’s homecoming night.

“The defense played phenomenal,” WW South coach Sean Norris said. “Our defensive line was able to put pressure on the quarterback and got him in situations to make him uncomfortable. [Hayes] is a really good football player and to intercept him three times says a lot about the way our secondary played, as well.”

“I thought [WW South] did a really nice job and at the end of the day played a better game than us tonight,” Saints coach Bryce Farquhar said. “I give a lot of credit to their defensive backs. You can talk about the pressure, but I think the defensive backs did a nice job in coverage. That [coverage] probably made [Hayes] scramble more than he probably wanted to.”

Hayes finished the night 9-for-23 passing with three interceptions, a lost fumble and that rushing score to open the game. He also rushed for 32 yards on 13 carries. The Saints as a team were held to 167 total yards, including just 68 in the first half.

Quentin Spencer was part of that coverage in the secondary for WW South, and also made an impact on the offensive side of the ball.

His 50-yard rushing score out of the wildcat formation got the Tigers on the board quickly after Hayes’s touchdown. Then, on the Tigers’ first possession of the second half, quarterback Matt Sommerdyke found Spencer behind the Saints defense for a 24-yard touchdown.

“We just felt like there was a lack of focus and effort [last week],” said Spencer, who finished with 84 total offensive yards. “There was no choice but to bounce back and get a ‘W’ tonight. It was an overall team win tonight and I’m just proud of my guys.”

Lance Kottke (69 total yards) also scored for the Tigers, who will face unbeaten Batavia (5-0, 4-0) in their own homecoming game next week. The Saints will travel to Geneva next Friday.