Sun, Sep. 18, 2011 - [Football]
UD 41, Loras 16
For the first time since the rivalry has been named the "Key City Clash" and just the eighth time in the series, the University of Dubuque defeated the Duhawks on the football field. Saturday night's loss finished 41-16 in favor of the Spartans.
The Spartans received the opening kickoff and the Loras defense provided an early spark by forcing a three-and-out, but that was about the extent of the quick offensive series' by Dubuque.
Following the early punt, Loras mounted an eight minute long drive that ended with a Tyler Wilker chip shot field goal to make it 3-0, Loras.
Eric Meyer then halted Dubuque's next possession with an interception and strong return – but the momentum was quickly lost when Ryan Baez fumbled the football on his first carry of 2011.
A quick six-play drive ended with Michael Zweifel's first touchdown of three on the day, but the Spartans failed to convert the point-after-attempt on their kick, making is 6-3.
Eric Meyer had another big return ready on the ensuing kickoff – taking it from four yards deep in the end zone all the way to the Spartans 30 yard line. As the teams switched ends between quarters, Loras used the good field position to setup a Vaughn Gesing rushing touchdown from one yard out in what would turn out to be Loras' only trip to the end zone on the night – but gave Loras a 10-6 lead.
Dubuque answered quickly again on a six-play drive that ended with a Justin Spaulding score to make it 13-10.
Loras' next drive would lead to the final points of the first half. A four-minute drive ended with Wilker's second field goal of the night and tied the game at 13-13.
Loras forced the Spartans to punt with their last possession of the first half and the Duhawks ran three plays before the horn sounded for halftime.
Loras received to start the second half and drove to the Spartans 31 yard line in hopes of reclaiming the lead. A decision to go for a first down on fourth-and-one nearing the red zone didn't provide the momentum building push the Duhawks were hoping for. Javan Aimable was dropped for a two yard loss in what was the first of a series of plays that turned the tide in favor of the Spartans.
The teams traded three-and-outs as the halfway point of the third quarter came and went.
Dubuque quarterback Wyatt Hanus capped the next quick scoring drive with a one yard run. Plays of 39 and 23 yards put the Spartans in the red zone early in the possession.
Down by one score at 20-13 and looking to make something happen on offense, Devin Kass – productive throughout the first half - had his number called on a toss play that went bad.
Kass couldn't bring in the football and Dubuque's home turf sent the football bouncing straight into the lap of two-way Spartan Michael Zweifel for a 31-yard fumble return.
The home team would lead 27-13 after three quarters and add another two scores over the first five minutes of the fourth quarter to pull away.
Tyler Wilker added his third field goal of the day to wrap things up at 41-16.
Individually, Kass logged 99 yards on the ground. Gavin Kasier, Nate Even, and Bryce Ewan each had productive nights in the receiving game, combining for 239 yards.
Defensively, Nate Suchomel was available from sideline to sideline to make five solo tackles and seven total. He was tied with Frank Pereiro for team high honors in that category. Four more Duhawks had six tackles apiece. Meyer's first half interception was the lone turnover on the night.
Vaughn Gesing went 16-for-22 in the loss to go with his rushing touchdown. He didn't throw an interception but was sacked seven times.
His 16 completions were enough to stamp his name in the record books. Gesing, a four-year starter, broke Dave Dietz's 26-year-old career completions mark with a toss to Gavin Kaiser in the third quarter. He has 437 in his career entering next week's game. He is closing in on Dietz's attempts mark and may still make a run at the career yardage record as well.
Loras returns to the Rock Bowl next week for their Homecoming matchup with the Simpson College Storm (0-3). Kickoff on September 24 is 1:00 PM.
This year's addition of the "Key City Clash" – granting the winner possession of the traveling trophy and yielding large donations to a local charity – was also the first live sport to be televised by KCRG's 9.2 channel. This year's proceeds will go to the relief efforts of the flooding that occurred in late July provided through the Community Foundation of Greater Dubuque.