A year after the Iowa Wesleyan Tigers won a close 19-13 affair over Crown College, the two teams were locked in a fantastic offensive showcase, as the Tigers held on for a 41-34 victory over the Storm. Rodolfo Amezcua scored 2-touchdowns and had 103-yards receiving, and Jacquez Hall ran for 122-yards in leading the way. Kameron Banks had 2.5-sacks in the victory to go along with 9-tackles.
After a scoreless first quarter, the second frame proved to be a wild affair as the two teams combined for 41-points. On their last possession of the first quarter, Iowa Wesleyan moved from their 34 and reached the Crown 16 just before the end of the frame. On the second play of the second quarter, Alex Payne found Rodolfo Amezcua for a 19-yard touchdown pass to make it 7-0.
The Storm responded right away moving 54-yards in 6-plays. Isaiah Zepeda started the drive with a 10-yard rush. Two plays later Taylor Watkins found Anthony Laureno for 10-yards and another first down. The drive looked like it would stall at the IW 25 when a 7-yard run by Chris Simpson left Crown 2-yards short of the first down. However, the Storm went for it, and on fourth and 2, Watkins hit Zepeda for a short pass, and the running back made a great move before heading for the end zone for the touchdown. The extra-point was no good to leave it 7-6.
On the next drive for the Tigers, they would move down the field to the Crown 33. It looked like they would get back on the board, but Sebastian Alvarado made a nice play to intercept the ball and he raced 65-yards for the touchdown. The kick was missed and it was 12-7 Storm.
On the ensuing Tigers possession, they would move 65-yards and retake the lead. Akenyon Bagley carried the ball on the first two plays for 15 total yards and a first down. The big play of the drive came on second and 2 at the Crown 31 when Payne found Amezcua for 24-yards to the Crown 7. Three plays later, Bagley scored from 4-yards out to make it 14-12.
The Storm would retake the lead on their next possession. Crown methodically moved the ball to the Iowa Wesleyan 23. On the seventh play of the drive, Derek Chilcoate found daylight and rushed for 23-yards for the score. The two-point conversion was good and it was 20-14.
The quarter continued to be a scoring fest as IW moved 85-yards to retake the lead. A 21-yard pass to Tanner Holder converted a third and 8 and kept the drive alive. On first and 10 at their own 47, Payne hit a streaking Josh Broadway for 43-yards down to the Crown 10. The Storm defense stiffened, forcing a fourth and goal at the 2. The Tigers went for it, and Payne hit Bagley on a swing pass for the score to make it 21-20.
Coming out of the locker room, each team’s defense stepped up and made big plays. On the second possession for IW, Jadlin Waters forced a fumble that was recovered by Jacquez Hall at the Crown 30. Chilcoate then rushed for double digits on three successive plays, gaining 39-yards to the IW 1. Ryan Synoground then hit David McIntosh for the score to make it 26-21.
As they had done all game, the IW Tigers responded, moving 55-yards in 7-plays for the touchdown to retake the lead. Bagley had a 25-yard run to the Crown 22, and Payne’s 10-yard pass to Amezcua went for the score to make it 27-26.
The Tigers would score on their next possession as well. On first and 10 from their own 43, Jacquez Hall found a hole and rushed 57-yards for the score to make it 34-26.
On their next possession, the Crown College Storm would put together an impressive 12-play drive to tie the score. Iowa Wesleyan helped on the drive with a pass interference and a personal foul call. On second and goal from the 6, Chilcoate scored and the two-point conversion was good to make it 34-34.
With 5:32 left in the game, IW received the ball at their own 15 and would march down the field to retake the lead. Two passes, a 15-yard and a 20-yarder to Amezcua, were the big plays of the drive. On second and goal from the 2, Payne kept the ball and scored to make it 41-34.
The Storm had one more chance to tie the score. They started from the IW 47, but were unable to move the ball. The ball was turned over to the Tigers on downs, and they ran out the clock for the seven point victory.
Rodolfo Amezcua made 8-receptions for 103-yards and 2-TDs. Tanner Holder had 9-catches for 77-yards, and Jaquez Hall had 14-carries for 122-yards and a touchdown. Alex Payne had a solid day under center, going 27-42 for 267-yards and 3-touchdowns. On defense, the Tigers were led by Travaughn Durr, who had 14-tackles and Kameron Banks had 9-tackles and 2.5-sacks.
Derek Chilcoate had 17-carries for 107-yards and 2-TDs for Crown. Sebastian Alvarado had 14-tackles.
Next week the Crown College Storm welcome MacMurray. Kickoff is at Noon.
By Robert Pannier