Dakota Wesleyan Tops Concordia To Finish Season On Three Game Win Streak
Tigers win 28-17 & finish 4-5
MITCHELL, S.D. (Dakota News Now) - Scoring a pair of touchdowns both through the air and on the ground, the Dakota Wesleyan University football team defeated conference foe Concordia University by a score of 28-17 Saturday afternoon at Joe Quintal Field in Mitchell. DWU finishes the season with an overall record of 4-5 as Saturday’s matchup concluded the 2020 campaign.
Saturday’s season finale began with the Tigers (4-5, 4-5 GPAC) forcing a turnover on the opening drive of the game as defensive back Hayden Schmidt (Plankinton, S.D.) stepped in front of the Bulldog (4-4, 4-4 GPAC) pass securing the interception. The Dakota Wesleyan defensive takeaway halted the CUNE drive giving the DWU offense the ball at its own 18-yard line.
Zachary Lester (Fairbanks, Alaska) and company used the second Tiger offensive possession to score the first points of the game securing a 7-0 lead. Lester connected with fellow senior Spencer Neugebauer (Mitchell, S.D.) for a 26-yard touchdown pass capping a nine-play, 65-yard drive that covered nearly four-and-half minutes.
On its third offensive possession of the game, CUNE used nearly the remainder of the first quarter piecing together a response ultimately evening the score at 7-7. Concordia culminated a nine-play drive, covering 89 yards with a 29-yard touchdown completion.
The opening of the second quarter saw the Bulldogs take their first lead of the game after a Dakota Wesleyan punt, bringing the score to 14-7. However, the Tigers responded late in the first half.
Dominick Warmbein (Sioux Falls, S.D.) recorded a pivotal tackle for loss on third down to halt the CUNE offense giving the Tigers the ball back. Dakota Wesleyan answered using a six-play drive covering 40 yards to knot the score at 14 as Lester connected with Garrett Determan (Watertown, S.D.). The score remained unbothered as both teams headed into the intermission.
DWU came out of the break taking full control of the momentum as the offense possessed the ball for much of the second half. After both teams punted on the first four possessions of the quarter, Dakota Wesleyan regained the lead 21-14 striking on just three plays in under a minute. Neugebauer took a snap out of the wildcat formation where he scampered for a one-yard score which was setup off a 50-yard reception by Determan.
Thanks to another third-down stop by the Tiger defense, CUNE was forced to settle for a 29-yard field goal narrowing the DWU advantage 21-17 near the end of the third quarter.
Carrying a four-point lead into the final quarter, Dakota Wesleyan managed a pair of lengthy drives to close out the contest. Jamin Arend (Emery, S.D.) rushed for an 11-yard touchdown completing a 58-yard drive that took nearly five minutes extending the DWU margin, 28-17.
Holding a sense of urgency, the Bulldog offense looked to drive the length of the field for any chance at a comeback. However, the Dakota Wesleyan defense prevailed midway through the fourth quarter, forcing a fourth-down incompletion to end the drive. Samuel Kretschmar (Huron, S.D.) notched a timely sack on second down helping to halt the CUNE offensive possession.
Lester and company capitalized on the fourth-down stop using eight plays to run out the final seven-and-half minutes of action as DWU secured the 28-17 win. With the season-finale victory, the Tigers finish the 2020 campaign by winning three straight and posting a 4-5 overall record.
Dakota Wesleyan totaled 364 yards of total offense as Lester completed 19 passes for 255 yards and two scores. The senior signal caller threw completions to five different Tiger receivers including ten passes to Neugebauer who finished with one receiving touchdown and 118 yards through the air.
Meanwhile, Arend rushed for 102 yards and one score on 28 attempts. Defensively, the Blue and Gray were led by Cody Reichelt (Mitchell, S.D.) and Josh Garry (Sioux Falls, S.D,) who combined for 15 tackles and two tackles for loss. Schmidt recorded the lone takeaway with his first-quarter interception along with four tackles.
-RECAP COURTESY DWU ATHLETICS
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