For the third time this season, the Duhawks started a game with a different quarterback than the one that started the game before. Once again, first-year Nolan Baumhover got the starting nod, trying to carry the momentum from the fourth quarter comeback that fell just short on homecoming against Coe. Unfortunately, no matter who the signal caller may be, coming out of the gates slow has been an unfortunate yet constant theme for the football team this season.
Loras quickly found themselves in a 10-0 hole just 6:45 into the game against Buena Vista. Not yet having a lead at halftime in their collegiate careers was getting old for first-year wide receiver Nate Bergfeld and his quarterback, Baumhover.
The two decided to do something about that trend, connecting for a 16-yard score to put the Duhawks on the scoreboard. Mikey Castoro then followed Bergfeld’s lead, finding his way into the end zone twice before half from 12 and 54 yards out.
Meanwhile, the Duhawk defense settled in nicely, not giving up any more points before intermission. For the first time since last season, the Duhawks were leading going into half with a score of 21-10.
After a Beaver field goal brought the score to 21-13 early in the third quarter, the offense was back at it again. This time it was Zach Minch and Josh Schulte leading the way. Gathering 44 of his 174 yards on one run, Minch scored first for the Duhawks in the third. Schulte added his two scores early in the fourth to give the Duhawks a 42-13 advantage with just over 9 minutes left to play.
Buena Vista didn’t back down, making the game interesting with three quick touchdowns, and capitalizing on a Duhawk turnover. With 5:41 left on the clock, the Duhawks saw their 29-point fourth quarter lead dwindle down to just 8. The Beavers were trying to flip the script on a Duhawk team that has been masterful at making fourth quarter comebacks.
In a pivotal possession with just over 5 minutes left to play, and an eight point lead, the Duhawks needed to take time off of the clock while also putting points on the board. Led by their first-year quarterback, the offense marched down the field picking up first down after first down and eating over 3 minutes of the clock. The impressive drive was finished off by Mikey Castoro’s third touchdown of the game, ultimately putting the game out of reach. Buena Vista added a last minute touchdown to bring the final score to 48-41.
The victory marks the first conference road win of the season and had the Duhawks fired up.
“It’s a huge win for the team,” said starting sophomore right tackle Trent Hanselmann. “It was a tough one, especially being on the road and it being their homecoming.”
No matter what the situation may be for the opponent, Hanselmann said, “(They) have to continue (their) hard work, and hopefully it will show for the rest of the season.”
With the win, the Duhawks are now 1-1 in conference play, 2-3 overall. The team will welcome the Central Dutch to the Rock Bowl this Saturday with a 1 p.m. start.