Whiting hands first GSSC loss to Wheeler
By Michael Osipoff 648-3137 or firstname.lastname@example.org August 31, 2012 11:52PM
Updated: October 2, 2012 6:13AM
WHITING — Wheeler’s Greater South Shore Conference win streak fell by the wayside on Friday night, joining its already-ended regular-season win streak.
Whiting handed the Bearcats their first loss since the conference debuted in 2007, as the Oilers rolled to a 34-7 win.
Wheeler (0-3, 0-1 GSSC), which went undefeated in the 2008 through ’11 regular seasons, had been 35-0 in the conference’s first five seasons.
Whiting (3-0, 1-0) put a screeching halt to a five-game skid in the series against the Bearcats, having been outscored 245-51 since a 20-7 win in 2006.
“It feels amazing,” Whiting junior quarterback AJ Veloz said. “They kicked our butts I don’t even know how many years.”
Said Whiting coach Jeff Cain: “We’re glad to get back on that side of it, but we have another huge matchup next week (at South Central).”
Veloz completed 13-of-18 passes for 226 yards and three touchdowns, including 9-of-11 for 220 and two in the first half, as the Oilers led 28-7. Patrick Petruf caught five passes for 134 yards and two touchdowns, including a 69-yarder; and Justin Jendreas caught four passes for 76 yards and a 59-yard touchdown, ran for a score and had two interceptions.
“AJ’s thrown well this week,” Cain said. “… He had a really nice week, so this doesn’t surprise me.”
The Bearcats committed five turnovers, the two interceptions plus three fumbles; they put the ball on the ground five additional times, but recovered those.
“Turnovers are always going to hurt, but they’re definitely more experienced,” Wheeler coach Tony Klimczak said. “They play well together and jelled as a team. We’re still making mistakes.
“It’s all about getting better, and I thought we got better in the second half. Their experience showed right away. But our guys strapped our pads a little tighter and gave a better performance in the second half.”
The Oilers scored on four of their first five possessions, including touchdowns after the Bearcats fumbled on each of their first two. Whiting clearly was in control throughout the game, but Wheeler briefly closed to 14-7, before the Oilers responded with Veloz’s 69-yard touchdown pass to Petruf followed by the 59-yarder to Jendreas with 3:19 left in the half.
“The coaches saw something open,” Veloz said. “We decided to go deep, and it worked.
“Their heads went down going into the locker room.”