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."

Sep. 1: All times Eastern
7:00 PM
Coast Guard at Anna Maria
Live Stats
7:00 PM
Defiance at Baldwin Wallace
Video Live Stats
7:00 PM
Washington and Lee at Johns Hopkins
Video
7:30 PM
Trine at Manchester
Live Stats
8:00 PM
Belhaven at Millsaps
Sep. 2: All times Eastern
6:00 PM
Mass-Dartmouth at Mount Ida
6:00 PM
Delaware Valley at Wesley
Video Live Stats
7:00 PM
Muhlenberg at Wilkes
Video Live Stats
7:00 PM
N.C. Wesleyan at Stevenson
Live Stats
7:00 PM
Western New England at Springfield
Video Live Stats
7:00 PM
Fitchburg State at Becker
Video Live Stats
7:00 PM
Albright at Salisbury
7:00 PM
WPI at MIT
Live Stats
7:00 PM
Salve Regina at Worcester State
7:00 PM
Bridgewater State at Curry
Video Live Stats
7:00 PM
Morrisville State at St. Lawrence
Video Audio
7:00 PM
Nichols at Westfield State
10:00 PM
Adrian at Pacific
Live Stats
Sep. 3: All times Eastern
12:00 PM
Endicott at Framingham State
Video Live Stats
12:00 PM
Washington U. at Carnegie Mellon
Live Stats
12:00 PM
Chicago at Case Western Reserve
Video Live Stats
12:00 PM
Husson at Alfred
12:00 PM
SUNY-Maritime at Maine Maritime
Video
12:00 PM
Cortland at Heidelberg
Live Stats
12:00 PM
Otterbein at Buffalo State
Video Live Stats
12:00 PM
Ursinus at Bethany
12:00 PM
Sewanee at Kenyon
12:00 PM
Alfred State at William Paterson
1:00 PM
King's at Moravian
Live Stats
1:00 PM
Kean at Christopher Newport
1:00 PM
McDaniel at Catholic
Live Stats Audio
1:00 PM
Lebanon Valley at Franklin and Marshall
Video Live Stats
1:00 PM
Plymouth State at Castleton
Live Stats
1:00 PM
RPI at Norwich
Video Live Stats
1:00 PM
Randolph-Macon at Dickinson
1:00 PM
Oberlin at Kalamazoo
Video Live Stats
1:00 PM
Emory and Henry at Ferrum
Video Live Stats Audio
1:00 PM
Wooster at Washington and Jefferson
Video Live Stats Audio
1:00 PM
St. Vincent at Alma
Live Stats
1:00 PM
Concordia (Wis.) at Finlandia
1:00 PM
Olivet at St. John Fisher
Video Live Stats Audio
1:00 PM
Rowan at Widener
Audio
1:00 PM
Hobart at Brockport
Live Stats Audio
1:00 PM
Union at Ithaca
Live Stats
1:00 PM
Susquehanna at Lycoming
Audio
1:00 PM
Utica at Misericordia
1:00 PM
The Apprentice School at Methodist
1:00 PM
TCNJ at UW-Whitewater
1:30 PM
Wilmington at Bluffton
1:30 PM
Monmouth at Hope
Video Audio
1:30 PM
Bridgewater at Gettysburg
1:30 PM
Muskingum at Waynesburg
Audio
1:30 PM
Juniata at Grove City
2:00 PM
Wisconsin Lutheran at Trinity Int'l
2:00 PM
Lakeland at Carroll
Video Live Stats
2:00 PM
UW-Stevens Point at St. Norbert
2:00 PM
Austin at Hendrix
Video Live Stats
2:00 PM
Maranatha Baptist at Martin Luther
Live Stats
2:00 PM
Millikin at Greenville
Live Stats
2:00 PM
Eureka at Knox
Live Stats
2:00 PM
MacMurray at Rockford
Live Stats
2:00 PM
Gustavus Adolphus at Westminster (Mo.)
Video Live Stats
2:00 PM
UW-La Crosse at Luther
2:00 PM
Beloit at Lake Forest
2:00 PM
Concordia-Moorhead at Jamestown
2:00 PM
Crown at Hamline
Live Stats
2:00 PM
Carleton at Macalester
Audio
2:00 PM
Bethel at Dubuque
2:00 PM
St. Scholastica at St. John's
Video Live Stats Audio
2:00 PM
St. Olaf at Grinnell
2:00 PM
Buena Vista at Mayville St.
2:00 PM
Simpson at UW-Stout
2:00 PM
Aurora at Carthage
2:00 PM
UW-River Falls at Coe
2:00 PM
Ripon at Concordia-Chicago
Video Live Stats
2:00 PM
Elmhurst at Loras
Video Live Stats
2:00 PM
Huntingdon at Louisiana College
Video
2:00 PM
North Central (Ill.) at Robert Morris-Chicago
Video Live Stats Audio
2:00 PM
Benedictine at Wheaton (Ill.)
2:00 PM
John Carroll at UW-Oshkosh
Video Audio Audio
2:30 PM
Southern Virginia at Earlham
Video Live Stats
2:30 PM
Lawrence at Presentation
4:00 PM
McPherson at Nebraska Wesleyan
Live Stats
4:00 PM
UW-Platteville at George Fox
4:00 PM
La Verne at Puget Sound
Video Live Stats
4:00 PM
Central at Whitworth
5:00 PM
Hartwick at Western Connecticut
Live Stats
6:00 PM
Wabash at Albion
Live Stats Audio
6:00 PM
Maryville (Tenn.) at Berry
Video Live Stats
6:00 PM
Augustana at Mount St. Joseph
Live Stats
6:00 PM
Thomas More at Franklin
Video Live Stats
6:00 PM
Hampden-Sydney at Averett
Video Live Stats
7:00 PM
Denison at Marietta
Video Live Stats Audio
7:00 PM
Hiram at Westminster (Pa.)
7:00 PM
Thiel at Allegheny
7:00 PM
Capital at Wittenberg
Live Stats
7:00 PM
Shenandoah at Gallaudet
Live Stats
7:00 PM
Illinois College at Rose-Hulman
Video Live Stats
7:00 PM
Geneva at Frostburg State
7:00 PM
Greensboro at Guilford
Live Stats
7:00 PM
LaGrange at Birmingham-Southern
7:00 PM
Hardin-Simmons at Southwestern
Live Stats
7:00 PM
Anderson at North Park
7:00 PM
Ohio Wesleyan at Mary Hardin-Baylor
7:00 PM
East Texas Baptist at Texas Lutheran
7:10 PM
St. Thomas at UW-Eau Claire
Video Live Stats
7:30 PM
Hanover at Centre
Video Live Stats
8:00 PM
Willamette at Rhodes
8:00 PM
Cornell at Iowa Wesleyan
Video Live Stats Live Stats
8:00 PM
Augsburg at Northwestern (Minn.)
Live Stats
8:00 PM
Southwestern Assemblies at Howard Payne
8:00 PM
Sul Ross State at UT-Permian Basin
8:30 PM
Redlands at Trinity (Texas)
Sep. 1: All times Eastern
7:00 PM
Washington and Lee at Johns Hopkins
Video
Sep. 2: All times Eastern
6:00 PM
Delaware Valley at Wesley
Video Live Stats
7:00 PM
Albright at Salisbury
Sep. 3: All times Eastern
12:00 PM
Cortland at Heidelberg
Live Stats
1:00 PM
TCNJ at UW-Whitewater
2:00 PM
North Central (Ill.) at Robert Morris-Chicago
Video Live Stats Audio
2:00 PM
John Carroll at UW-Oshkosh
Video Audio Audio
2:00 PM
Huntingdon at Louisiana College
Video
2:00 PM
St. Scholastica at St. John's
Video Live Stats Audio
2:00 PM
Benedictine at Wheaton (Ill.)
4:00 PM
UW-Platteville at George Fox
4:00 PM
Central at Whitworth
6:00 PM
Thomas More at Franklin
Video Live Stats
6:00 PM
Wabash at Albion
Live Stats Audio
7:00 PM
East Texas Baptist at Texas Lutheran
7:00 PM
Ohio Wesleyan at Mary Hardin-Baylor
7:00 PM
Hardin-Simmons at Southwestern
Live Stats
7:10 PM
St. Thomas at UW-Eau Claire
Video Live Stats