Zimbelman, Bailey Lead Aurora Past Upset Minded Warriors, 70-29
The Wisconsin Lutheran College Warriors took a 10-0 victory over Aurora University on Saturday afternoon, looking to pull off a huge upset, but a 21-point second quarter followed by a 35 point third-quarter put the Spartans in command as they went on to the 70-29 victory. Quarterback Gavin Zimbelman led the way, throwing for five touchdowns and Tyran Bailey rushed for 231 yards and two scores to lead the Spartans to the decisive victory. WLC quarterback Nick Yockey had a big day, throwing for 318 yards and three scores and Justin Parbs rushed for 101 yards.
The contest got off to a great start for Wisconsin Lutheran, who took the opening kickoff and marched 75 yards in six plays to take a 7-0 lead. On the third play of the drive, Yockey found wide receiver Carter Schneider for a 51-yard completion down to the Aurora 20. Three plays later, Yockey connected with Trevion Green for a 6-yard touchdown. The Warriors quarterback completed all five pass attempts on the drive.
The Spartans looked like they would get that score right back, moving to the Wisconsin Lutheran eight where they faced a fourth and goal, but Zimbelman’s pass fell incomplete. That gave the Warriors back the ball, and they made an impressive drive, going 82 yards in 14 plays before settling on an Arnulfo Ortega 27-yard field goal. Yockey led the drive once again, completing his first seven pass attempts and adding 13 more yards on the ground.
WLC had dominated the first quarter, but Aurora came alive in the second. With two minutes left in the first quarter, they began a drive at their own 30-yard line that culminated in a 5 yard touchdown run by Zimbelman to pull his team within three. Cameron Moore had the big play of the drive, taking a reverse before running 17 yards into WLC territory.
The Warriors tried to respond right away, moving to the Aurora 26 where they faced fourth and 8, but Alec Ly was dropped for a 7-yard loss to turn the ball over to the Spartans. They made the most of their opportunity thanks to Bailey, who opened the drive with a 10-yard run and followed with a 37-yard gain to move the ball to the WLC 20. Two plays later, Zimbelman connected with Brock Harner for a 6-yard touchdown to give Aurora a 14-10 lead.
With a little over two minutes left in the half, the Spartans extended their lead to 11. The drive looked like it would stall right away when Aurora was faced with a second and 21 at the Wisconsin Lutheran 47, but Bailey got his team out of trouble with a 22-yard carry. Three plays later, Zimbelman found Michael Boland for a 9-yard touchdown strike to make it a 21-10 Aurora lead heading into the half.
A tentative first half turned into a wild second, as the teams scored on nine of the first 11 possessions following the break. Aurora got things started with a seven play, 65-yard drive that resulted in a Bailey 24-yard touchdown to give the Spartans a 28-10 lead. This drive was completely led by the ground game, with Bailey carrying the ball five times for 56 yards and James Mautino adding a 16-yard carry.
WLC stalled on their next drive, giving the ball to Aurora at the Wisconsin Lutheran 33. Four plays later, Bailey scored from 1-yard out to extend the lead to 25.
The Warriors responded right away, moving 83 yards in just four plays to cut the deficit to 19. The Yockey-Schneider combination came up big, as the WLC quarterback connected with his wide receiver for a 55-yard touchdown.
The Spartans made short work of their next drive, moving 90 yards in just three plays before they found the end zone again. Bailey got the drive going with a 36-yard carry and Zimbelman followed with a 45-yard completion to Moore to move the ball to the Warriors 9-yard line. On the next play, Zimbelman found Moore in the end zone to extend the lead back to 26.
The Warriors put together another big drive on their next possession, moving 90 yards in four plays. This time it was the Wisconsin Lutheran ground game that led the way, as Parbs started the drive with a 47 yard carry down to the Aurora 43. After Raymond Forman gave his team another first down with an 11-yard carry, Yockey moved the ball to the 24 with an 8 yard scamper. On the next play, Forman took the handoff and raced the distance to make it a 42-23 game.
Aurora made short work of their next possession, moving 75 yards in four plays for their seventh touchdown of the game. The first three plays moved the ball to the Spartans 43, setting up a second and 7. That is when Zimbelman went back to pass, connecting with Moore for a 57-yard touchdown to make it a 49-23 game.
The Warriors would be stopped on their next possession, turning the ball over at midfield. Aurora responded with a five play, 50-yard drive with Zimbelman connecting with Mautino on a 21-yard touchdown, the fifth touchdown pass of the day for the Aurora quarterback.
Aurora added two more touchdowns in the fourth quarter. Jhequay Chretin scored from 5 yards out to give the Spartans a 63-23 lead. Wisconsin Lutheran recorded their fourth touchdown of the day two possessions later when Yockey found Mike DuPree for a 26-yard strike to make it 63-29. Chretin added a 1-yard touchdown run on the next possession for Aurora to close out the scoring.
Yockey finish 24-41 for 318 yards and three touchdowns. The Warriors quarterback also carried the ball 6 times for 55 yards. Parbs carried the ball 19 times for 101 yards. Schneider had a big day, making eight catches for 158 yards and a score. On defense, Savon Goodwin finished with seven tackles and a sack.
Zimbelman had a huge day for Aurora, completing 18 of 27 pass attempts for 304 yards and five touchdowns. Moore made three receptions for 111 yards and two scores. Bailey carried the ball 20 times for 231 yards and two touchdowns. Chretin added two scores and 88 yards rushing on 12 carries. The Spartans defense was led by Robbie Peterson with nine tackles.
Wisconsin Lutheran College (0-4) will travel to take on St. Norbert next Saturday. Kickoff is scheduled for 12:00.
by Robert Pannier