Duhawks storm back

Down 26-3 with just under three minutes to play in the second quarter, things were looking grim for the Loras College football team. On the road in Storm Lake, Iowa taking on the Beavers of Buena Vista University. However, they managed to chip away at the Beaver lead. From that point on, they outscored the Beavers 41-14, including 21 unanswered points to close the game.

The Duhawks cut the Buena Vista lead to 10 with a 64 yard touchdown run courtesy of first-year Elijah Thomas. However, on the ensuing drive, Buena Vista quarterback Cole Miller scrambled out of the pocket and managed to heave a 67 yard touchdown pass to wideout Eric Pacheco despite being pressured by the Loras defensive line. This and the extra point that followed brought the score to 40-23 Buena Vista with 2:19 to play in the third quarter.

The fourth quarter was all Loras action. The scoring began with an 18 yard touchdown pass from sophomore quarterback Noah Sigwarth to senior wideout Brad Boelkow. After first-year Timmy Tischer’s PAT, the score was 40-30 Beavers.  Later on, the Duhawk defense came up with a massive stand on fourth and goal to force a turnover on downs. This gave Sigwarth and the team the ball on their own one yard line, with just 6:33 to play while trailing by 10. The team engineered a 7 play, 99 yard drive to score. Sigwarth and Thomas both had long runs to keep the pack moving, while Boelkow had a big grab for a first down. The drive culminated with Sigwarth finding sophomore Mike McDevitt in the corner of the end zone for an acrobatic touchdown. McDevitt, a Chicago St. Rita product, was able to get his feet down inbounds for his second touchdown of the season.

Junior quarterback Sam Maloney celebrates with teammate freshman running back Elijah Thomas after a big play.

With 2:42 seconds to play, the Duhawks had the ball on their own 35 and trailed by three. They marched down the field and eventually faced a fourth and goal from the Beaver three yard line with under a minute to play. Rather than kick the field goal and head to overtime, Loras head coach Steve Helminiak opted to win the game right there.  Sigwarth rolled out of the pocket to his right searching for an open man, but eventually decided to tuck it and run for the game winning score. Any chances of a Buena Vista comeback were snuffed out by an interception, and the Duhawks finished the game in the victory formation, running out the clock.

Sigwarth completed 18 passes for 290 yards with two scores and three interceptions. He also rushed for 75 yards and two touchdowns, including the game winner. Thomas ran for 132 yards and a touchdown, and senior running back Cody Mighell ran for 34 yards and a touchdown. Junior Sam Maloney led the Duhawk receiving corps with six catches for 91 yards, while Boelkow snagged six balls for 87 yards and a score. On the defensive side, junior Brandon Niemeier led the team with 12 tackles. Junior Chris Miller also finished with 10 tackles, including a whopping 3.5 sacks.

The Duhawks (3-2, 2-1 ARC) will host Nebraska Wesleyan (1-5, 0-4 ARC) in the Rock Bowl for homecoming. Special thanks to Mr. Jim Naprstek and the Loras Sports Information team for the statistics.

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