Strong Second-Half Propels Wartburg To 43-35 Victory
The Wartburg Knights took control of a tight game in the second half and defeated Dubuque 43-35 on Saturday afternoon (Oct. 29, 2016).
The Knights (4-3 overall, 3-2 IIAC) scored 16 unanswered points in the third and fourth quarters to secure the victory. Riley Brockway's six-yard touchdown run as time expired in the third quarter gave Wartburg a 33-28 advantage that the visitors would not relinquish. The Knights extended their lead with a 20-yard field goal at the 7:40 mark of the fourth quarter. Then, an intercepted Dubuque pass set-up Jake Haberman's four-yard touchdown that put Wartburg up 43-28 with 5:23 remaining.
Connor Schrader led the Knights' ground attack with 70 yards on 10 carries, while quarterback Matt Sacia gained 68 yards on nine carries. Sacia threw for 184 yards and three touchdowns. Griffin Brennecke was the top receiver with 10 catches for 82 yards.
The Spartans (7-2, 5-2) took a 7-0 lead, scoring on a 25-yard pass from Conor Feckley to Najee Toomer with 8:51 of the first quarter. Wartburg fought back, as the Knights scored touchdowns on the next three possessions to gain a 20-7 edge.
Dubuque sliced the Knights' lead to 20-14 on a 32-yard touchdown midway through the second quarter. Wartburg responded with an 11-play, 75-yard drive to take a 27-14 lead with 1:51 left in second quarter and Dubuque answered with an 11-yard touchdown pass with four seconds remaining, setting the halftime score at 27-21 in favor of the Knights.
The Spartans regained the lead when Maurece Herrion scampered in for a touchdown from two yards out at 4:16 of the third quarter. Herrion led Dubuque's ground attack with 26 rushes for 108 yards. Feckley completed 24 of 40 pass attempts for 291 yards.
The two teams would finish the day with nearly identical total offensive yards, with the Spartans holding a 413-to-412 edge over Wartburg. The Knights were able to take advantage of a fake punt for 29 yards, a blocked punt recovered on the Dubuque three yard line, and two interceptions.
UP NEXT: Following two-straight games away from home, the Knights return to Walston-Hoover Stadium in Waverly on Saturday (Nov. 5). They host arch-rival Luther at 1 p.m.