Time of Poss.
Central College's Nate Snead hooked up with brother Jeremy Snead on three first-half touchdown passes to fuel a 35-7 Iowa Conference football victory at Buena Vista Saturday.
Meanwhile, the Dutch defense came up with a season-high four interceptions. Central, ranked No. 17 in the AFCA Division III poll and No. 18 by D3football.com, had just one interception in its first seven games, but has picked off seven passes in the past two weeks. For the second straight week, Central held its opponent to less than 50 rushing yards as well, as Buena Vista ran for only 44 yards.
The win sets up a pivotal contest with conference leader Wartburg College at home next Saturday. The Knights are 8-0 overall and 6-0 in the league after escaping rival Luther College at Waverly, 24-18. Central is 8-1 overall and 6-1 in Iowa Conference play
Central scored on its opening drive Saturday, moving 63 yards in eight plays as Nate Snead hit Jeremy Snead from 6 yards out. The two connected on a 36-yard TD strike with 11:29 left in the second quarter, and on a 30-yarder with 48 seconds left for a 21-0 halftime lead.
After a scoreless third quarter, defensive lineman Jason Crall, a former tight end, scored his first career touchdown with a 21-yard interception return. Crall later tipped a pass that was picked off by linebacker Greg Best.
"Jason did a great job," coach Jeff McMartin said. "He's been the ultimate team player. He came in as an outside linebacker, moved to tight end, then moved to the defensive line. He's just done whatever is best for the team. It was exciting to see him score."
The Dutch added a 7-yard TD pass from Zack Bandow to Michael O'Rourke before Buena Vista finally got on the board with 1:08 left in the game.
Nate Snead completed 10 of 17 passes for 141 yards while Bandow was 6-of-12 for 64 yards. The Dutch rushed for 185 yards and had 390 yards total offense. Kyle Wood ran for 52 yards on 11 carries, Nate Snead had 37 yards on eight attempts and S-back Jarred Lackey took some direct snaps and gained 31 yards on eight carries.
"Offensively we played very well," McMartin said. "That's a good (Buena Vista) defense. It's hard to score points on them and it's hard to move the ball on them."
The Dutch defense limited Buena Vista to 243 yards.
"Our game plan was to get them into second-and-long and third-and-long and we did that," McMartin said.
That allowed the Central pass rush to get into high gear, recording eight sacks. The Dutch have 19 sacks in the last two weeks.
Defensive end Shane Wong had a game-high 10 tackles, including seven solos and 2.5 sacks. Free safety Jake Petersen and cornerback Adam Petz had interceptions along with Crall and Best.
An otherwise enjoyable afternoon for Central closed with disappointment, however. Sophomore running back Erik Grunder suffered a season-ending injury in the final minutes and was being treated in Storm Lake Saturday evening.
Next week's game is the regular-season finale for the Dutch, who have a bye in the final week of conference play. Game time is 1 p.m. at Ron and Joyce Schipper Stadium.