Duhawks storm back, but lose nail-biter
With less than a minute remaining and the score knotted at 42, it looked as if the Duhawks were about to score a game winner over archrival University of Dubuque in the Key City Clash. Time and again on Saturday afternoon, the Duhawks had made big plays on the offensive side of the ball. However, the pocket collapsed around Duhawk quarterback sophomore Noah Sigwarth and he was hit as he reached back to throw, resulting in a fumble. The loose ball was scooped up by Dubuque’s Marshon Crowder and returned 50 yards for the go-ahead touchdown.
A massive crowd of 2,870 fans turned out to see this crosstown matchup, and it did not disappoint. With over 1,100 yards of total offense between the two teams and a combined 91 points, it was an exciting day in the Rock Bowl. While the Spartans’ scoop-and-score late in the fourth quarter proved to be the difference, the Duhawk offense continued its recent scoring tear by accounting for 35 points, with the other coming from an interception returned for a touchdown from junior defensive back Brandon Niemeier. Sigwarth completed 20 passes for 291 yards and four touchdowns, finishing with 356 yards of total offense. Senior wideout Brad Boelkow finished with a career-high ten grabs for 124 yards and two scores. Junior Sam Maloney also caught two touchdowns, including a 65 yard score in the third quarter. Standout freshman Elijah Thomas ran for a 36 yard touchdown, while junior Jerry McDaniel accounted for 75 yards on the ground.
Despite trailing 21-14 at the half, the Duhawks exploded for 28 points in the third quarter to lead 42-35 heading into the fourth quarter. With 5:46 left in the game, Spartan quarterback Cody Volkers found tight end Karletty Faamatuainu from 7 yards out for a touchdown. Kicker Andy Vujnovich tied the game at 42 with his extra point. The game stayed tied until Dubuque scored the go-ahead touchdown in the final minute, bringing the score to 49-42. The Duhawks got the ball back and nearly got into striking range with a 21 yard pass to junior Brad Boelkow, but were unable to call a timeout before time expired.
The Duhawks (2-2, 1-1 ARC) will travel to Storm Lake, Iowa to take on the Beavers of Buena Vista University. The Beavers are 1-4, winless in the ARC, and coming off of a 43 point loss to the Central College Dutch on Saturday, Sept. 29. The game will be played on Saturday, Oct. 6 at 1 p.m. in Storm Lake.