November 26, 2013

Knight and day difference for Wartburg

More news about: Wartburg

Brandon Domeyer rolled up 161 yards on the ground in the first-round win at Illinois Wesleyan.
Wartburg athletics file photo by Julie Drewes

By Josh Smith
D3sports.com

Wartburg’s journey to the IIAC title hit a speed bump earlier this month with a loss to conference rival Coe. But since that loss, the Knights have used a strong ground game and a stingy defense to make their way into the second round of the NCAA Division III playoffs.

Now, after thumping Illinois Wesleyan 41-7 in the first round Saturday, Wartburg will try to avenge its only non-conference loss of the season when the Knights travel to Bethel for a second-round game.

“What coach was really stressing is what makes a team great is how well they bounce back from a loss,” said sophomore running back Brandon Domeyer, who rushed for 161 yards in Saturday’s playoff win. “I think we’ve really been taking that mentality to practice and (are) working hard every day to try and get better.”

After the loss at home to Coe, Wartburg picked up a 16-14 win over Central and a 59-3 win at Loras to wrap up the conference title and earn an automatic berth into the postseason.

“The biggest thing, I think, is our team has just continued to fight and play hard regardless if things are going well or if they’re not going well,” head coach Rick Willis said. “That’s a trait that teams learn, and we’re fortunate that this team has learned how to do that.”

The Knights carried that momentum into the postseason, where they raced out to a 35-0 lead en route to picking up their first playoff win since 2008.

Domeyer scored three touchdowns in the victory over the Titans and quarterback Logan Schrader added 76 yards two scores on the ground.

“All the credit goes to the offensive line. All I really had to do was take the ball and run it,” Domeyer said after his team racked up 274 yards on the ground. “They played a great game.”

Meanwhile the Wartburg defense held Illinois Wesleyan to minus-5 yards rushing and forced seven turnovers.

“Obviously, turnovers are huge. Our defense has really been gaining a lot confidence in the past month – the past five or six weeks, really,” said Willis, whose team intercepted four passes and recovered three fumbles. “They’ve really kind of hit their stride. They’ve kind of carried us through a few big games down the stretch here.”

With the solid play on both sides of the ball, the Knights’ coach is optimistic about the way his team is playing headed into its second round matchup at sixth-ranked Bethel.

“Throughout the year there’s been times where we’ve played pretty well offensively and other times where we’ve played pretty well defensively,” Willis said. “We really had yet to put together what we felt was our best in all three phases on the same day. And I think we came as close to doing that over at Illinois Wesleyan last Saturday as we have all year.

“So hopefully, we can continue that and that will give us confidence moving forward.”

Wartburg would like to get off to a quick start again Saturday when they travel to Arden Hills to take on the Royals.

“Momentum is such a big part of these games, and getting off to a good start is a big part of that,” Willis said.

When the Royals won their non-conference meeting with Wartburg in September, they got off to the fast start. Bethel scored 30 straight points en route to a 30-17 victory.

“At that point in the season, we were a pretty inexperienced team, I would say,” Domeyer said. “We’ve gained a lot more experience. I think we’ve gotten a lot better as a team.”

Bethel, which is 11-0 and has won its games by an average margin of 29 points, is the favorite to win Saturday following a 70-13 win over St. Scholastica. But Willis said people may have overlooked his team when matched up with Illinois Wesleyan.

“There weren’t a lot of people outside of our locker room that were giving us much of a chance,” Willis said. “I think anytime you’re in the playoffs, you’re always trying to earn respect for your school and for your conference, and that was certainly something that was on our guys’ mind.”

The coach said his team is excited to still be alive and is looking forward to an opportunity to atone for its regular season loss at Bethel.

“We have a chance to try to redeem ourselves,” Willis said. “I think they are fully aware of the tremendous challenge that Bethel will present to us, and are excited about the opportunity to go up and see how much we’ve progressed since the 14th of September.”

“We need to get off to a better start. We need to do a better job of controlling the turnover situation,” he continued. “We’ve certainly got to tackle better. Our tackling was not very good up there early in the season.”

comments powered by Disqus
Oct. 31: All times Eastern
7:00 PM
Millsaps at Berry
Live Stats Video Audio
Nov. 1: All times Eastern
12:00 PM
Kean at TCNJ
Live Stats
12:00 PM
Mass-Dartmouth at Western Connecticut
Live Stats
12:00 PM
Gallaudet at Norwich
Live Stats Video
12:00 PM
Framingham State at Massachusetts Maritime
Preview Live Stats Live Stats Video
12:00 PM
Maine Maritime at Salve Regina
Preview Preview Live Stats Video
12:00 PM
College of Faith at Wesley
Live Stats Audio
12:00 PM
Union at Hobart
Live Stats Video Audio
12:00 PM
Allegheny at Kenyon
Audio
12:00 PM
Alfred at Salisbury
Live Stats Video Audio
12:00 PM
William Paterson at Morrisville State
Live Stats Audio Audio
12:00 PM
Buffalo State at St. John Fisher
Live Stats Audio
12:00 PM
St. Lawrence at WPI
Live Stats Video
12:00 PM
Alfred State at Apprentice School
12:00 PM
SUNY-Maritime at Castleton State
Preview Live Stats Video Tickets
12:30 PM
Bates at Bowdoin
Preview Preview Live Stats Video
12:30 PM
Colby at Tufts
Live Stats Video
12:30 PM
Middlebury at Hamilton
Live Stats Video
12:30 PM
Amherst at Trinity (Conn.)
Live Stats Video
12:30 PM
Anna Maria at Husson
Live Stats Video Audio
1:00 PM
Lebanon Valley at FDU-Florham
Live Stats
1:00 PM
Becker at Mount Ida
Live Stats Video
1:00 PM
Ohio Northern at Marietta
Preview Live Stats Video Audio Audio
1:00 PM
Montclair State at Cortland State
Live Stats Video
1:00 PM
Moravian at Gettysburg
Live Stats Video Audio
1:00 PM
Catholic at Guilford
Live Stats Video
1:00 PM
Wittenberg at Ohio Wesleyan
Preview Live Stats Video Audio
1:00 PM
Olivet at Albion
Live Stats Video Audio
1:00 PM
Stevenson at Widener
Live Stats Audio Audio
1:00 PM
DePauw at Wooster
Preview Live Stats Video Audio Audio
1:00 PM
Randolph-Macon at Shenandoah
Preview Live Stats Video Audio Audio
1:00 PM
Emory and Henry at Washington and Lee
Preview Live Stats Video Audio Audio
1:00 PM
Hampden-Sydney at Bridgewater (Va.)
Preview Live Stats Video Audio Audio
1:00 PM
Trine at Kalamazoo
Live Stats Video Audio Audio Tickets
1:00 PM
Lakeland at Alma
Live Stats
1:00 PM
Thiel at Carnegie Mellon
Preview Preview Live Stats Video Audio Audio
1:00 PM
Hope at Adrian
Live Stats Video Audio Audio
1:00 PM
Western New England at Curry
Live Stats Live Stats
1:00 PM
Muhlenberg at Dickinson
Live Stats Video
1:00 PM
Franklin and Marshall at Susquehanna
Preview Live Stats Video Audio Audio
1:00 PM
Averett at Methodist
Video
1:00 PM
Ithaca at Brockport State
Live Stats Video Tickets
1:00 PM
Southern Virginia at Rowan
Preview Live Stats Video Audio
1:00 PM
Lycoming at Misericordia
Live Stats Audio
1:00 PM
Johns Hopkins at Ursinus
Live Stats Video
1:00 PM
Wabash at Hiram
Live Stats Video Audio
1:00 PM
Westminster (Pa.) at St. Vincent
1:00 PM
Delaware Valley at King's
Live Stats Audio
1:00 PM
Albright at Wilkes
Live Stats Audio
1:00 PM
McDaniel at Juniata
Preview Preview Live Stats Video Audio
1:00 PM
Case Western Reserve at Washington U.
Preview Preview Live Stats Video
1:00 PM
Wisconsin Lutheran at Rockford
Preview Live Stats Audio
1:00 PM
MacMurray at Northwestern (Minn.)
Live Stats Video
1:30 PM
Mount St. Joseph at Bluffton
Live Stats
1:30 PM
Wesleyan at Williams
Live Stats Video
1:30 PM
Plymouth State at Worcester State
Live Stats
1:30 PM
N.C. Wesleyan at Maryville (Tenn.)
Live Stats Video
1:30 PM
Geneva at Washington and Jefferson
Live Stats Video Audio
1:30 PM
Thomas More at Waynesburg
Preview Video Audio
1:30 PM
Heidelberg at Wilmington
Preview Preview Live Stats Video
1:30 PM
John Carroll at Muskingum
Live Stats Audio Audio
1:30 PM
Mount Union at Otterbein
Preview Audio Audio
1:30 PM
Bethany at Grove City
Live Stats Audio
1:30 PM
Anderson at Defiance
Live Stats Video
1:30 PM
Earlham at Hanover
Live Stats Video
1:30 PM
Westfield State at Fitchburg State
Live Stats Video
2:00 PM
Frostburg State at Hartwick
Live Stats
2:00 PM
Baldwin Wallace at Capital
Preview Preview Live Stats Video Audio Audio
2:00 PM
Manchester at Rose-Hulman
Preview Live Stats Video
2:00 PM
Benedictine at Concordia (Wis.)
Live Stats Video
2:00 PM
UW-Whitewater at UW-Platteville
Preview Live Stats Video Audio Audio
2:00 PM
Southwestern at Austin
Live Stats Video
2:00 PM
Concordia-Chicago at Aurora
Live Stats Video
2:00 PM
Centre at Hendrix
Live Stats Video
2:00 PM
St. John's at Augsburg
Live Stats Video Audio Audio
2:00 PM
UW-Stout at UW-Eau Claire
Preview Live Stats Video Audio Audio Tickets
2:00 PM
Bethel at Gustavus Adolphus
Live Stats Video
2:00 PM
St. Olaf at Hamline
Live Stats Video
2:00 PM
Lake Forest at Cornell
Video
2:00 PM
Illinois Wesleyan at North Central (Ill.)
Live Stats Video Audio
2:00 PM
Birmingham-Southern at Rhodes
2:00 PM
Trinity (Texas) at Texas Lutheran
Live Stats Video
2:00 PM
Hardin-Simmons at Mary Hardin-Baylor
Live Stats Video Audio
2:00 PM
Simpson at Central
2:00 PM
Wartburg at Buena Vista
Live Stats Video Audio
2:00 PM
Ripon at Beloit
2:00 PM
Carroll at Macalester
Live Stats Video Audio
2:00 PM
Howard Payne at Louisiana College
Audio
2:00 PM
Carthage at Millikin
Live Stats Video Audio
2:00 PM
Wheaton (Ill.) at Elmhurst
Live Stats Video
2:00 PM
North Park at Augustana
Live Stats Video
2:00 PM
Coe at Luther
Video Audio
2:00 PM
Crown at Martin Luther
2:00 PM
Greenville at Westminster (Mo.)
Video
2:00 PM
Iowa Wesleyan at Eureka
2:00 PM
Illinois College at Knox
Live Stats Video
2:00 PM
Monmouth at Grinnell
Live Stats Video
2:00 PM
UW-La Crosse at UW-River Falls
Audio
2:00 PM
UW-Oshkosh at UW-Stevens Point
Preview Live Stats Video Audio Audio
2:00 PM
Dubuque at Loras
2:00 PM
Sul Ross State at East Texas Baptist
Live Stats Audio
2:10 PM
Concordia-Moorhead at St. Thomas
Preview Live Stats Video Video Audio Audio
3:00 PM
St. Scholastica at Minnesota-Morris
3:30 PM
George Fox at Whitworth
Live Stats Video Audio
4:00 PM
Ferrum at Greensboro
Live Stats
4:00 PM
Pacific Lutheran at Puget Sound
Preview Audio
4:00 PM
Cal Lutheran at Claremont-Mudd-Scripps
Live Stats Video
4:00 PM
Willamette at Linfield
Live Stats Video Audio Audio
4:05 PM
Redlands at Whittier
Live Stats Live Stats Video Audio
5:00 PM
Pacific at Lewis and Clark
Live Stats Video Audio
5:30 PM
MIT at Endicott
Preview Live Stats
6:00 PM
Denison at Oberlin
Live Stats Video
7:00 PM
St. Norbert at Lawrence
Live Stats Video
7:00 PM
LaGrange at Christopher Newport
Live Stats Video Audio
10:00 PM
La Verne at Chapman
Preview Live Stats Video Audio Audio
10:00 PM
Pomona-Pitzer at Occidental
Live Stats Video Audio
Nov. 1: All times Eastern
10:00 PM
La Verne at Chapman
Preview Live Stats Video Audio Audio
1:30 PM
Mount Union at Otterbein
Preview Audio Audio
1:30 PM
Thomas More at Waynesburg
Preview Video Audio
1:30 PM
John Carroll at Muskingum
Live Stats Audio Audio
1:30 PM
Geneva at Washington and Jefferson
Live Stats Video Audio
1:00 PM
Hampden-Sydney at Bridgewater (Va.)
Preview Live Stats Video Audio Audio
1:00 PM
Wabash at Hiram
Live Stats Video Audio
1:00 PM
Johns Hopkins at Ursinus
Live Stats Video
1:00 PM
Wittenberg at Ohio Wesleyan
Preview Live Stats Video Audio
1:00 PM
Delaware Valley at King's
Live Stats Audio
2:10 PM
Concordia-Moorhead at St. Thomas
Preview Live Stats Video Video Audio Audio
12:00 PM
College of Faith at Wesley
Live Stats Audio
12:00 PM
Buffalo State at St. John Fisher
Live Stats Audio
12:00 PM
Union at Hobart
Live Stats Video Audio
2:00 PM
Wartburg at Buena Vista
Live Stats Video Audio
2:00 PM
Bethel at Gustavus Adolphus
Live Stats Video
2:00 PM
UW-Oshkosh at UW-Stevens Point
Preview Live Stats Video Audio Audio
2:00 PM
UW-Whitewater at UW-Platteville
Preview Live Stats Video Audio Audio
2:00 PM
Illinois Wesleyan at North Central (Ill.)
Live Stats Video Audio
2:00 PM
Hardin-Simmons at Mary Hardin-Baylor
Live Stats Video Audio
2:00 PM
Wheaton (Ill.) at Elmhurst
Live Stats Video
2:00 PM
St. John's at Augsburg
Live Stats Video Audio Audio
4:00 PM
Willamette at Linfield
Live Stats Video Audio Audio

What We're Reading