Football looks to rebuild strength during bye week

The Duhawks had a tough game against Wartburg last week.  Loras had a comeback that gave the Knights a run for their money, but it wasn’t enough for the Duhawks to squeeze out the win.  Both teams came out strong with having touchdowns back-to-back-to-back. The Knights scored their first touchdown of many within the first 50 seconds of the game. The Duhawks didn’t take too long to respond though, as they scored a 69-yard rushing touchdown with senior Zach Minch.

The Knights and Duhawks duked this fight out until the very end.  It didn’t look like much of a chance for the Duhawks going into half, with the Knights leading 35-14. That didn’t stop the team from putting up a fight, however. The Knights came out of the half and kicked a field goal to make their lead 38-14.

The Duhawks finally showed a little spark and scored 16 unanswered points. Sophomore Nolan Baumhover made contact with senior Jon Powers with a 55-yard pass for a touchdown.

Then the Duhawks went for a two-point conversion pass to senior Liam Kirwan. Next,they managed to stop the Knights and get the ball back. Minch broke free on an 80-yard run for his second touchdown of the day. The Duhawks were feeling the power and went for another two-point conversion, this time a pass to sophomore Brad Boelkow. This dropped the Knights lead to only eight points.

Now that the Knights were on their heels, wondering if they are going to blow this lead, they fumbled the ball in the Duhawk territory. The Duhawks had the motivation and energy to win this game, but their hopes were cut short when on 4th-and-11 on Wartburg’s 19-yard line, Baumhover couldn’t find anyone open and had to scramble. He didn’t get enough yardage for the first down, causing a turnover on downs and for the game to end. The Duhawks gave all the fight they had, but couldn’t pull out the win. Wartburg College Knights took the game, 38-30, making this the fifth game lost by 10 points or less.

This week the team has a bye without any games. Senior captain Liam Kirwan thinks it will be a very beneficial time for the whole Duhawk flock.

“I think this bye week is going to very important. We have a lot of guys who have played a lot snaps this year and over the past few years. So being able to get an off weekend where we can recover and get healthy during the week is huge. It’s also going to be important for us to really stick with the rhythm we had against Wartburg during the second half and carry it out to when we play Simpson the next week,” said Kirwan.

The rest of the season can be whatever the Duhawks make of it, and Kirwan believes they can turn it around to show off the team’s hard work.

“It has been a tough year and we all realize this, but we have had the same attitude the whole year. And that’s to take it week by week and to keep working on being the best football team we can be. I think if we continue to work, we can turn this season around and really show how good of a team we are. We have shown we can compete with the top teams in the conference. Now it’s just time to play a complete game and finish strong and with a victory.”

The Duhawks have a bye this week, but will be on the road at Simpson College on Oct. 22. The Duhawks’ next home game is Oct. 29 against Luther.

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