DUBUQUE, Iowa - The University of Dubuque improved to 3-0 overall and 1-0 in the Iowa Conference after a narrow victory Saturday night in the Key City Clash over the Loras College Duhawks 27-24 in front of one of the largest crowds ever at Chalmers Field. It was the seventh consecutive victory for the Spartans who will keep the key for another year.
The Spartans debut in their alternative grey uniforms jumped out to an early 21-0 lead before the Duhawks chipped away at the lead, late in the second quarter with just nine seconds remaining. Loras scored on a 17 yard pass play to end the opening half of action with UD leading 21-7.
The Duhawks out scored the Spartans 17-6 in the final half to make the game interesting. As time ran out in the game, Loras attempted a 48 yard field goal to knot the game and it sailed to the left. UD held on for the victory. UD scored in all four of their red zone chances while Loras only scored in 2-4 chances. UD scored just seven points off the Duhawks turnovers. The Spartans defense attacked and finished with three interceptions, a pair by Michael Joseph when the Duhawks were looking to score.
Both teams finished with 23 first downs and over four hundreds of offense each. UD gained 306 ground pounding yards in 52 rushes. Loras rushed 43 times for 125 yards. Conor Feckley completed 6-12 pass atempts for 129 yards to four different receivers. Emmanuel Jenkins score on a 50 yard pass play in the first quarter. The back field duo of Dwayne Allen Jr. and Maurece Herrion combined for 285 yards.
Chad Marsh led UD with 11 tackles. Le'Devin Smith and Derek Trotter each collected nine tackles. Jacob Rentz punted three times for 108 yards and pinned the ball inside the 20 yard line once.
In the spirit of sportsmanship and mutual respect, and in a desire to give back to our local community and what it means to be faith-based institutions the The University of Dubuque and Loras College contribute a portion of the gate receipts from the Key City Clash annual event to a non-profit organization. Organizations who have received donations from the game are: United Way (2008), Big Brothers/Big Sisters of Eastern Iowa (2009), the Boys and Girls Club of Greater Dubuque (2010), Community Foundation of Greater Dubuque Flood Relief (2011), Riverview Center (2012), Opening Doors Maria House-Teresa Shelter (2013), the Gabriel Project (2014), and the Dubuque Dream Center (2015), the Gabriel Project (2016), and the Red Cross Hurricane Relief (2017).
Since Dubuque played a key role in the early development of the state, Dubuque is often referred as "The Key City". The winner of the Key City Clash will proudly display the traveling trophy for the following year at their school. One side of the key is painted blue and white to represent the University of Dubuque while the other is painted in purple and gold for Loras College. The winner of the annual game gains possession of the "Key to the City". The wooden key presented to the winner each year is six feet in length. The Spartans have won the last seven meetings, while the Duhawks won the first three meetings.
2008 - Loras College won 42-6 at Rock Bowl
2009 – Loras College won 43-14 at Chalmers Field
2010 – Loras College won 14-6 at Rock Bowl
2011 – University of Dubuque won 41-16 at Chalmers Field
2012 – University of Dubuque won 45-0 at Rock Bowl
2013 - University of Dubuque won 56-0 at Chalmers Field
2014 - University of Dubuque won 34-7 at Rock Bowl
2015 - University of Dubuque won 42-7 at Chalmers Field
2016 - University of Dubuque won 60-22 at Rock Bowl
2017 - University of Dubuque 27-24 at Chalmers Field
Next week, the Spartans travel to Decorah to face the Luther Norse at 1:00 p.m.