Sealing the deal on Homecoming
DUBUQUE, IA. – Homecoming weekend was a success after the Loras College football team secured a 56-21 victory over American Rivers Conference opponent Luther College on Oct. 12. The win comes after Loras’ famous tailgate in the Athletic and Wellness Center’s parking lot where alumni from all years come to celebrate. Some of the most notable classes in attendance would be the graduating classes of the 1970s. Those alumni are the reason Loras College has a football team today. For more information, check out the Duhawk Plaza, located at the East point of the Rock Bowl.
As the warm-up clock expired, the stadium filled with students, faculty, and alumni to watch an aggressive start by Loras. Within the first seven minutes, senior wide receiver Trey Simmons caught a 23-yard pass from junior quarterback Noah Sigwarth to draw the first score over the Luther College Norse, 7-0.
Luther responded six minutes later with a 67-yard completion to wide receiver Andre Atkins from quarterback Michael Lorento. Atkin’s completion ended the Norse’s drive, leveling the score at seven.
However, it was homecoming and Sigwarth knew that. On the first play after Luther’s score, Sigwarth ran 64 yards, dusting the Norse defense. This doubled Loras’ score to 14-7. The crowd was in a frenzy going into the second quarter, where Loras would dominate.
The Duhawks came out stronger in the second quarter than the first with senior running back Jerry McDaniel running his way into the end zone in the first two minutes. Three minutes later, first-year running back Ty Bausch ran his way into the end zone as well, furthering the gap for Luther to a three-possession game.
“Based on what we have seen from them in previous games, we knew that that was going to be an opportunity for us to run the ball effectively,” said head football coach Steve Helminiak. “Our first drive, we really came out and went right down the field. We got down the field by running the football, so I wanted to get back to that and I felt like we did.”
Helminiak is definitely right, because with just under five minutes in the half, sophomore defensive back Dustin Harris blocked a punt and the ball found its way into the hands of junior left back Brett McWilliams. McWilliams then carried the ball for a quick 18 yards to push the lead to 35-7. Luther responded with a 14-play drive resulting in a touchdown, making the score 35-14 at the end of the first half.
In the second half, Loras did not let up. Less than three minutes had gone by when Sigwarth again found the end zone off a 24-yard quarterback sneak. Then, in the fourth quarter, Bausch fought his way into the end zone off a 12-play drive. Loras led 49-14 by the time Atkins found his way into the end zone with a 49-yard run.
“There was a couple lapses where they got some cheap scores, but for the most part, I was really pleased with how hard and fast they were playing,” said Helminiak. “We had a couple opportunities in the first half that was credited to our defense as well.”
However, Loras didn’t want Luther to have the last score so Sigwarth did it again, scoring his third touchdown by running in four yards. Also to note: junior kicker Nicolas Farfan did not miss a single kick the entire game.
The Duhawks have a cross-town rival matchup this Saturday, Oct. 19, against the University of Dubuque. The American Rivers Conference game will be hosted at the University of Dubuque at 2 p.m.