Knights Use Dominating Ground Game to Slay Warriors
The Wisconsin Lutheran College Football team traveled to New Ulm, MN on Saturday to take on the Martin Luther College Knights and found the Knights to not be gracious hosts as the Warriors gave up 14 points in the second and 21 in the third, falling to MLC, 42-28. It was a bruising ground attack by Martin Luther that led the way, as the team rushed for 363 yards on 61 carries.
The Warriors took the opening kickoff, and quickly moved down the field, reaching the Martin Luther 21 yard line where they faced a fourth and 4. The coaching staff opted to go for it, but quarterback Nick Yockey’s past fell incomplete, turning the ball over to the Knights.
Back the other way Martin Luther went, keeping the ball on the ground for 11 consecutive plays. It looked like the Knights drive may stall as well, as they faced a fourth and 4 at the Wisconsin Lutheran 41. However, quarterback Max Nordie was able to keep the drive alive, connecting with Mike Radue for 9 yards to give his team a fresh set of downs. Three plays later, Nordie kept the ball, racing 30 yards for a touchdown to give his team a 7-0 lead.
On the next drive, the Warriors were forced to punt after just three plays. That gave the ball back to the Knights at their own 45. It took just one play for them to reach the end zone, as Carson Oestreich found daylight and raced 55 yards for a touchdown to put his team on top by 14.
The Warriors had some success moving the ball, but had come away empty-handed. However, on their fifth drive of the day, WLC would finally reach the end zone. The opportunity was setup when Jordan Jewel returned a Radue punt 43 yards down to the Martin Luther College 27. Two plays later, Raymond Forman took the handoff and raced 25 yards for the score to cut the deficit to seven.
The defense for the Warrior stepped up once again, creating another punt, but this time Jewell was unable to handle the ball, fumbling at his own eight. Simeon Glende recovered at the Wisconsin Lutheran seven, and Oestreich scored from 7 yards out on the next play to extend the lead for Martin Luther back to 14.
This time Wisconsin Lutheran College responded right away, scoring as the first half came to an end. The Wisconsin Lutheran quarterback led the drive, completing three huge passes, including on a fourth and 1 at the Martin Luther 46, hitting Jewell for 13 yards and a first down. On the next play, the Warriors quarterback found Justin Parbs for 12 yards and the team was able to call a timeout with just one second left in the half. What time for just one play, Yockey went for the end zone and was able to somehow find Trevion Green for a 21-yard touchdown completion to make it a 21-14 game.
Suddenly, Wisconsin Lutheran College was back in this contest, but Martin Luther College would take away any hope the team had, scoring on each of their first three possessions in the second half to take a commanding 28-point lead.
The first came on the opening drive of the half. Staying on the ground, the team was able to move from their own 37 to the WLC 37. On second and 10, Nordie kept ball, moving outside before racing for the end zone for his second touchdown of the day.
The Warriors looked like they would respond, as they moved into Martin Luther territory. Yockey found Forman for a 14-yard completion down to the Knights 30, but Ben Washburn was able to force a fumble, recovered by Aiden Holien. Back to the ground the Knights went, methodically moving the ball behind a bruising offensive line. On the eighth play of the drive, Nordie called his number once again, scoring from 10 yards out to make it a 35-14 lead.
The Warriors turned the ball over on downs on their next possession, giving Martin Luther the ball at the WLC 41. Six plays later, Nordie threw a quick strike to Radue over the middle for 3 yards and a touchdown to make it a 42-14 Knights lead.
The Warriors looked like they were out of this contest, but the team continued to battle, scoring two touchdowns in the final quarter to pull within 14. It was Matthew Davis coming off the bench who led the way, first finding Jewell for a 14-yard touchdown to complete a six plate, 40 yard drive. The drive was set up when Daniel Davenport forced a fumble and recovered at the Martin Luther 40-yard line.
On the next possession, Errick Brooks forced another fumble, this time at the Knights 29. However, the Warriors could not capitalize, turning the ball over on downs.
On their last possession of the game, Wisconsin Lutheran would add one more touchdown. This came on third and 22 when Davis connected with Chris Nickson for his second touchdown throw the day. That made it 42-28, but the Warriors could get no closer.
Yockey completed 15 of 27 passes for 141 yards and a score. Davis came off the bench to complete six of 17 attempts for 99 yards and two touchdowns. Green was the leading receiver, making five catches for 59 yards and a TD, and Carter Schneider had three receptions for 57 yards. Forman had a solid day on the ground, chairing the ball nine times for 66 yards and a touchdown.
The Wisconsin Lutheran College defense was led by Savon Goodwin, who had 12 total tackles. The team forced two fumbles.
Nordie only threw the ball five times in the game, completing three passes for 20 yards and score. He also rushed 19 times for 130 yards and three touchdowns. Oestreich had 30 carries for 187 yards and two touchdowns.
The Wisconsin Lutheran College Warriors (0-2) travel to take on the Lakeland University Muskies (2-0) next Saturday. Kickoff is scheduled for 1:00.
by Robert Pannier