Sat, Sep. 29, 2012 - [Football]
The Homecoming crowd left the Rock Bowl happy on Saturday following Loras College's 28-25 win over Luther. The Duhawks scored all 28 points in the first three quarters and held off the Norse's late charge to claim the win.
It wasn't an easy path to the win column for Loras.
The hosts fell behind 14-0 and after the first two Luther possessions, but remained focused and took a 21-17 lead into the locker room at halftime. On Loras' second possession of the second half, they had extended their lead to 28-17.
A late score by the Norse and a two-point conversion made things interesting, but the Duhawks held off the late surge and completed the win to move to 2-2 overall and 1-0 in the Iowa Conference.
For the Norse, it was a heavy dose of Dan Ridenour early, including the game's first touchdown, a clean run of 51 yards to pay dirt. They doubled their lead when quarterback Kody Moore connected with Adam Bohr. The Norse would punt on their next two possessions as the Duhawks would swing the momentum back in their favor.
A long pass to Brady Williams had the Duhawks knocking on the door late in the first quarter and Nate Carrier took in his team leading fourth touchdown to make it 14-7. Loras' next possession ended with the first of two touchdowns on the day by Joe Walker. His first was from 31 yards out from Dylan Jones.
The Duhawks would make it three straight trips to the end zone when Nate Even caught a 25-yard Jones pass to break the 14-14 tie.
The Norse would add a 30-yard field goal to cut the Loras lead to 21-17 at the half.
On the second drive of the second half for the Loras offense, Walker was in the end zone again, this time from 33 yards, complete with a sprawling leap to the end zone over the top of his defender over the final two yards.
The Norse didn't go quietly, however, putting together a 9-play, 80 yard drive to make it 28-23. They then converted a two point try from Moore to Matt Jaronik to make it a 28-25 game.
Loras' Nate Even would recover the ensuing onside kick attempt to help preserve the victory.
Individually, Jones continued to progress at quarterback, throwing for a season/career high of 249 yards and three touchdowns. He went 14-for-18. Nate Carrier was a force again on the ground, netting 159 yards on 34 carries and scoring a touchdown in his third straight game. Walker finished with four grabs for 97 yards. Even had three catches for 42 yards. Brandon Ronan and Logan Kuehl each had double digit tackles. Ronan added an interception, and Skylar Purifoy's pick as the Norse were marching in the fourth quarter helped keep the Duhawks in front.
The win was Loras' first Iowa Conference victory under second year head coach Paul Mierkiewicz.
WATCH LORAS HEAD COACH PAUL MIERKIEWICZ TALK ABOUT THE WIN
Loras is in Cedar Rapids next Saturday to take on Coe College at 1:00 PM.