Sam Bolla, defense come up big for Wheeler
By Kevin O’Keefe Post-Tribune correspondent September 7, 2012 11:52PM
Updated: October 9, 2012 3:08PM
VALPARAISO — In a game that was a defensive struggle for nearly three quarters, Wheeler freshman quarterback Jake LaFever hooked up with senior receiver Jeremy Truchan on a simple sideline pass. Truchan scampered 88 yards to give the Bearcats the only points they would need as they downed North Newton 13-0.
While that touchdown broke the ice, the real story of the game was the Bearcats defense. Wheeler held North Newton to 127 total yards and seven first downs.
Sam Bolla made his presence felt in his first game back from a concussion, picking up a fumble and running it in from 30 yards out for Wheeler’s second touchdown of the night, capping the Bearcats’ first win of the season.
“I’m really happy for them,” Wheeler coach Tony Klimczak said. “They came together and they fought together tonight. The key on defense was getting Sammy (Bolla) back. Getting him back was uplifting to the team and allowed players like Kyle (Burch) to move back to his natural position of safety.”
Burch had two interceptions on the night.
“Kyle was our player of the week last week,” Klimczak said. “We call him our Troy Polamalu. He’s our defensive MVP and he really brought it tonight. He’s been intense all week.
Both teams missed chances in a scoreless first half. North Newton fumbled on the 12-yard line after driving 63 yards on eight plays, the big play in the drive was a 40-yard run by Chad Schultz. The Spartans were held to 45 total first-half yards.
A Jack Sommer interception on a screen play gave the Bearcats the ball at the 22-yard line with 1:49 left but the drive stalled on a fourth and two at the 3. Wheeler had 120 total yards in the half.