November 6, 2010

Central football title hopes slip away

More news about: Central

There were opportunities for Central College to nail down a share of an Iowa Conference title but Wartburg College used a late fourth-quarter touchdown and some fierce defensive pressure to capture at least a title share of its own Saturday, 20-17.

Reese Thompson's 5-yard TD run with 2:41 left in the game was the only scoring of the second half, finishing an 11-play, 85-yard game-winning drive for the No. 13-ranked Knights who are 9-0 overall and 7-0 in league play. Wartburg wins at least a share of its 12th league title and can secure an outright crown with a win at home next Saturday against Simpson College.

Central, which had claimed at least a share of four of the past five league championships, has a bye in the final week and closes the year at 8-2 overall and 6-2 in the conference.

The Dutch had one final shot Saturday.  Following Wartburg's go-ahead touchdown, defensive back Jake Petersen blocked the extra point, leaving Central within a field goal. The Dutch drove to the Wartburg 24-yard line in the final minute, but were pushed back to the 30 where the drive stalled. A desperation 47-yard field goal try by Jake Viggers with 41 seconds left was blocked.

"Our guys played hard," coach Jeff McMartin said. "We battled the whole game. Wartburg is a good football team but it is a tough one to lose. We put ourselves in some tough spots and bailed ourselves out of some tough spots. I'm very proud of our football team."

The Dutch found those tough spots early as first-half mistakes were costly. A fumble on Central's opening possession was returned by Wartburg's Matt Tschetter 24 yards to the 7-yard line. Three plays later, Wartburg quarterback Dan Stiefel scrambled 7 yards for a touchdown.

Central quickly answered with a season-long 73-yard TD strike from Nate Snead to Jeremy Snead to make it 7-7 with 9:03 left in the first quarter. Then Viggers added a 36-yard field goal for the lead with 7:30 remaining in the period.

But Central dug another hole early in the second quarter, as a punt was blocked by Wartburg's Garrett McGrane and returned by David Brooks to the Central 3-yard line. Thompson ran it from there and fumbled near the goal line. The ball was recovered by Central in the end zone, but officials ruled the ball had crossed the plane of the goal line.

Defensive back Cody Baethke gave Central a late first-half opportunity with an interception which he returned 15 yards to the Central 40. Central drove 60 yards in eight plays with running back Kyle Wood scoring from the 3-yard line with 38 seconds left. It was Central up 17-14 at intermission, but the Dutch were scoreless the rest of the way.

Central's defense kept the Dutch on top most of the second half, stopping Wartburg on its first four possessions. After three quarters, Central had limited the high-powered Wartburg offense to 150 yards while gaining 246. But the Knights launched their game-winning march with 8:39 left. It was Wartburg's only scoring drive of longer than 7 yards.

"The defense played great," McMartin said. "They gave us the chance to win today, they really did, with the turnovers they got and the stops drive after drive. It was special teams and the offense that put us in a tough spot defensively a couple of times. Had those things not occurred we could have been looking at a big game."

But McMartin had nothing but praise for his team's effort. The Dutch outgained Wartburg, 275-247 yards. Nate Snead rushed for 86 yards on 22 carries, despite suffering four sacks. Snead completed 10 of 30 passes for 147 yards. He became the first Central quarterback in at least 50 years to finish the year as the team's rushing leader, gaining 669 yards on 141 carries. Snead completed 96 of 179 passes for 1,503 yards for the year with seven interceptions and 12 touchdowns.

Thompson rushed for 86 yards for Wartburg. Quarterback Dan Stiefel completed 13 of 27 passes for 129 yards with two interceptions. He was sacked twice.

Central free safety Ryan Schmidt had 11 tackles for the Dutch while linebacker Greg Best made eight stops, linebacker Ryan Steinkamp had seven and linebacker Cole Henderson had six. Defensive end Shane Wong had five tackles, including 2.5 for loss and a sack.

The game marked the final Central appearance for 28 seniors. The Dutch have compiled a 36-8 record over the past four years, including an 18-3 mark the past two seasons.

"They leave a great legacy," McMartin said. "They have done a great job these last four years. They have been a part of a couple of championships and an undefeated season or two. I am very, very proud of them. They are winners and they have worked very hard and developed as brothers. They have great love for this program and this program has great love for them. My heart breaks for them today, but if we can look back on their body of work, I think everyone associated with this program and the seniors themselves can feel really good about where they have gone."

comments powered by Disqus
Sep. 4: All times Eastern
8:00 PM
East Texas Baptist at Tex. A&M-Commerce
Sep. 5: All times Eastern
7:00 PM
Anna Maria at Worcester State
7:00 PM
Western New England at Springfield
7:00 PM
Albright at Kean
7:00 PM
Widener at Rowan
Live Stats Live Stats Audio
7:00 PM
WPI at Curry
7:00 PM
Mass-Dartmouth at Mount Ida
Live Stats
7:00 PM
Salve Regina at Bridgewater State
7:00 PM
William Paterson at SUNY-Maritime
Live Stats
7:00 PM
Ursinus at TCNJ
7:00 PM
Fitchburg State at Becker
7:00 PM
Nichols at Westfield State
Video
7:30 PM
McDaniel at Catholic
7:30 PM
Trine at Manchester
Live Stats Video Audio
8:00 PM
Waldorf at UW-Whitewater
Live Stats
Sep. 6: All times Eastern
12:00 PM
Endicott at Framingham State
12:00 PM
Dickinson at Hobart
Live Stats
12:00 PM
Holland College (PEI, Canada) at Maine Maritime
Video
12:00 PM
Otterbein at St. John Fisher
12:00 PM
Union at Ithaca
12:00 PM
Pomona-Pitzer at MIT
12:00 PM
Husson at Alfred
12:00 PM
Randolph-Macon at Johns Hopkins
1:00 PM
St. Lawrence at Coast Guard
1:00 PM
Thomas More at Wesley
Live Stats Audio
1:00 PM
Plymouth State at Castleton State
1:00 PM
Lebanon Valley at Franklin and Marshall
1:00 PM
Emory and Henry at Ferrum
Audio
1:00 PM
Washington and Lee at Averett
Live Stats
1:00 PM
Hampden-Sydney at Wabash
Live Stats Video Audio
1:00 PM
Rose-Hulman at Kalamazoo
Live Stats Video
1:00 PM
Wilmington at Olivet
1:00 PM
King's at Moravian
1:00 PM
Alfred State at Morrisville State
1:00 PM
Susquehanna at Lycoming
Live Stats Video Audio
1:00 PM
Oberlin at Brockport State
1:00 PM
Utica at Misericordia
Live Stats
1:00 PM
Delaware Valley at Montclair State
1:00 PM
Southern Virginia at Methodist
1:00 PM
Ohio Wesleyan at Bluffton
1:00 PM
Marietta at Kenyon
1:00 PM
Merchant Marine at Apprentice
1:00 PM
Cortland State at Buffalo State
Audio
1:00 PM
Muhlenberg at Wilkes
Live Stats
1:00 PM
Sewanee at DePauw
1:30 PM
Adrian at Defiance
1:30 PM
RPI at Norwich
1:30 PM
Alma at Heidelberg
1:30 PM
Berry at Maryville (Tenn.)
Live Stats Video
1:30 PM
Bridgewater (Va.) at Gettysburg
1:30 PM
Muskingum at Waynesburg
1:30 PM
St. Vincent at John Carroll
1:30 PM
Mount Union at Bethany
1:30 PM
Juniata at Grove City
Audio
2:00 PM
Franklin at Illinois Wesleyan
2:00 PM
Rhodes at Austin
2:00 PM
Carleton at Macalester
2:00 PM
UW-Platteville at Buena Vista
2:00 PM
Ohio Northern at Washington U.
Live Stats Video
2:00 PM
UW-River Falls at St. John's
2:00 PM
Crown at Gustavus Adolphus
2:00 PM
Concordia-Moorhead at Jamestown
2:00 PM
Simpson at Iowa Wesleyan
2:00 PM
Hope at Monmouth
Audio
2:00 PM
Lawrence at Rockford
2:00 PM
Aurora at Illinois College
2:00 PM
Carroll at Lakeland
2:00 PM
Elmhurst at Loras
2:00 PM
Millikin at Greenville
2:00 PM
Coe at Wheaton (Ill.)
2:00 PM
Presentation at Luther
2:00 PM
Martin Luther at Maranatha Baptist
2:00 PM
MacMurray at Culver-Stockton
2:00 PM
Eureka at Knox
2:00 PM
UW-Stout at Dakota Wesleyan
2:00 PM
Huntingdon at Louisiana College
Video
2:00 PM
Ripon at St. Scholastica
Live Stats
2:00 PM
Hendrix at Westminster (Mo.)
2:10 PM
UW-Eau Claire at St. Thomas
3:00 PM
St. Norbert at Carthage
4:00 PM
Claremont-Mudd-Scripps at Puget Sound
4:00 PM
Lewis and Clark at Whitworth
4:00 PM
College of Idaho at Pacific
4:30 PM
Arizona Christian at George Fox
5:00 PM
Hartwick at Western Connecticut
6:00 PM
Salisbury at Christopher Newport
6:00 PM
Augustana at Mount St. Joseph
7:00 PM
Carnegie Mellon at Case Western Reserve
Live Stats Video
7:00 PM
Stevenson at N.C. Wesleyan
7:00 PM
Butler at Wittenberg
Live Stats Video
7:00 PM
Shenandoah at Gallaudet
Audio
7:00 PM
Wooster at Washington and Jefferson
7:00 PM
Geneva at Frostburg State
Live Stats
7:00 PM
Thiel at Allegheny
7:00 PM
Taylor (Ind.) at Anderson
7:00 PM
Hiram at Westminster (Pa.)
7:00 PM
Denison at Earlham
7:00 PM
Greensboro at Guilford
7:00 PM
Albion at UW-Stevens Point
7:00 PM
Concordia (Wis.) at North Park
7:00 PM
Beloit at Chicago
Live Stats
7:00 PM
LaGrange at Birmingham-Southern
7:00 PM
Howard Payne at Trinity (Texas)
7:00 PM
Mary Hardin-Baylor at Millsaps
7:00 PM
Sul Ross State at Texas Lutheran
7:00 PM
Robert Morris-Chicago at UW-Oshkosh
7:00 PM
UW-La Crosse at Dubuque
Live Stats Video
7:30 PM
Hanover at Centre
7:30 PM
Central at Benedictine
Live Stats Video Audio
8:00 PM
St. Olaf at Northwestern (Minn.)
8:00 PM
Hamline at Minnesota-Morris
8:00 PM
Lake Forest at Wisconsin Lutheran
8:00 PM
Wartburg at Augsburg
Audio
8:00 PM
Hardin-Simmons at Southwestern
Dec. 20: All times Eastern
Final
at UW-Whitewater 52, Mount Union 14
@ Salem Stadium; Salem, Va.
Box Score Recap Photos Photos
Dec. 14: All times Eastern
Final
UW-Whitewater 16, at Mary Hardin-Baylor 15
Box Score Recap Recap Photos
Final
at Mount Union 41, North Central (Ill.) 40
Box Score Recap Recap Photos

What We're Reading