Big plays catapult Duhawks to 2nd straight victory
The Loras football team came out on top after a tight game against Nebraska Wesleyan. Coming off of last week’s mashing of Buena Vista, the Duhawks hoped for another win. While the win may not have been by a large margin, the Duhawks proved that they are continually put last year’s record behind and becoming a possible threat in the Iowa Conference.
The Duhawks got off to a hot start, posting 21 points in the first quarter. Despite allowing 21 against them in the second quarter, the Duhawks surged in the third and held Wesleyan off in the fourth quarter to seal the win, 49-42. The victory brings Loras to 3-2 on the season, and 2-1 in conference play.
The team had many opportunities on both sides of the ball Saturday. On special teams, senior Mike Kuhn broke through the line and blocked a punt from Nebraska Wesleyan, setting up the Duhawks for a touchdown on the very next play.
On defense, junior Alex Wernimont intercepted a pass, setting up the Duhawks in great field position. In the third, sophomore Logan Sheppard raked in another interception, which set up a rushing touchdown and gave the Duhawks their outright lead.
The defense caused three turnovers against Nebraska Wesleyan, which set up multiple scoring opportunities for the Duhawk offense, contributing to the win.
On the offensive side, teammates clicked. Senior Bob Kelly used his resources and found multiple receivers, keeping the passing game alive. On the ground, the Duhawks thrived. Senior Ike Cloward rushed for four touchdowns once again, tying his career-best. The running back also tied career highs in points scored, and rushing touchdowns. Junior Cody Mighell took some weight off of Cloward’s shoulders in the second half, rushing for a career-high two touchdowns and notching the longest run of his career at 35 yards.
Cloward repeated his thoughts from last week.
“The guys up front are doing a great job.They open up lanes for me.”
The productivity on offense proves his point, and a lot of credit must be given to an offensive line that seems to be breathing new life this season.
Head coach Steve Helminiak had both positive and negative thoughts about the game.
“We produced and worked as a unit like last week.”
Even amidst the win, Helminiak also had some criticism for his team.
“We were giving them too many opportunities. You go up by 21 in a quarter and they shouldn’t be tied with you by the half.”
This Saturday, Loras Football hosts Simpson in the Rock Bowl for the Homecoming game at 1 p.m. Coming off of a loss to Central, Simpson will have to face a rolling team and electric crowd.