WAVERLY, Iowa – Nebraska Wesleyan held a 7-6 first quarter lead but then 11th-ranked Wartburg College got on a roll and proved to be too much for the Prairie Wolves winning 61-7 in American Rivers Conference football action on Saturday (Oct. 12) at Walston-Hoover Stadium in Waverly, Iowa.
The undefeated Knights scored 55 unanswered points taking advantage of NWU special teams miscues and turnovers jumping ahead 26-7 at halftime. They scored four touchdowns in the 3rd quarter to make the lead too big to overcome.
Wartburg scored on their opening drive of the game, but missed the PAT to go up 6-0. NWU responded on their first possession by driving 68 yards in eight plays.
Jonathan Curti found tight end Logan Hughes in the back of the end zone for a 10-yard TD pass to tie the game. After a penalty, Michael Vandenberg still converted the PAT attempt putting the Prairie Wolves up 7-6.
On the next possession, Wartburg scored another touchdown to regain the lead and they never trailed again. A pair of 2nd quarter punt plays turned the tide of the game. The Knights blocked a punt and returned it 49 yards for a touchdown. Then on the next NWU possession, the Prairie Wolves attempted to punt again but the snap was mishandled giving the Knights the ball on the 17-yard line. Wartburg converted another TD and the rout was on.
NWU finished the game with a season-low 202 yards of total offense, being held under 100 yards in the final three quarters. The Prairie Wolves struggled again to run the ball managing 34 yards on 24 carries.
Jonathan Curti was 16-33 for 168 yards with a TD and an interception. Derrick Curtis caught a team-high four passes for 31 yards with Alex Mathis making three grabs for 40 yards.
Wartburg piled up 491 total yards of offense with 217 on the ground and 274 through the air.
Quarterback Noah Dodd had a huge game to lead the Knights offense. Dodd completed 15-18 passes for 245 yards with five touchdowns. His favorite target was Nick Wall who caught eight passes with two touchdowns and 131 yards.
Hayden Penny led the Prairie Wolves defense posting seven total tackles with 2.0 quarterback sacks as he remains one of the leaders in the conference in sacks.
NWU will try to bounce back next Saturday when they return home to face Coe College at 1 pm.