Warriors Defense Dominates But Green Knights Slightly Better
The Wisconsin Lutheran College defense put on their best performance of the season on Saturday, holding St. Norbert to just seven points, but the Green Knights defense proved to be just a little bit better in the 7-0 victory. St. Norbert intercepted four passes and held WLC to just 126 yards passing in the loss.
St. Norbert took the opening kickoff and was forced to punt after just five plays. Wisconsin Lutheran started at their own nine, but quickly moved down to the Green Knights 46. On the sixth play of the drive, Joe Jung intercepted a Matt Davis pass, setting up St. Norbert near midfield.
Once again, the Warriors defense came up big, forcing a punt after just four plays. St. Norbert got the ball back after Wisconsin Lutheran turned the ball over on downs, but the WLC defense rose to the occasion once again, forcing a punt after five plays. The Knights ran 13 plays in the first quarter, coming away with 40 total yards.
However, on their fourth possession of the game, St. Norbert was finally able to get on the board. Starting from their own 23, Richie Gilles began the drive with a 12-yard carry. Two plays later, Gilles found Cameron Krueger down the middle for 23 yards and another first down. The duo connected for a 28 your completion down to the nine, and John Trinh scored two plays later from 2 yards out to make it 7-0.
The Green Knights were able to mount another impressive drive on their next possession, moving to the Wisconsin Lutheran 18. However, the club missed a 35-yard field goal keeping the Warriors down by just seven.
On their next possession, St. Norbert had a big completion for 17 yards out of the 32-yard line, but Krueger fumbled. Christian Perry scooped up the ball, giving Wisconsin Lutheran another opportunity to try to get some points before the end of the half. However, the team would be forced to punt once again. Wisconsin Lutheran had the ball six times in the first half, but were able to muster 161 yards, including just 19 on their final three possessions of the half.
Turnovers hurt Wisconsin Lutheran in the second half. On the first drive, Nathan LaBorde had his pass attempt intercepted by Alex Campbell. The Warriors turned the ball over on downs on their next possession, but got the ball right back when the defense forced their second fumble of the game, this time it was Xavion Allen recovering the ball at the WLC 46.
Once again, the Warriors were forced to punt. The defense stiffened, turning the ball back to their offense after just four plays, but LaBorde would be intercepted for the second time in the contest, as Jung picked off his second pass of the game.
With a little under 10 minutes left in the contest, St. Norbert mounted a huge drive that looked like they would put this game out of reach. Starting from their own 18, the team took 14 plays, moving 69 yards before being stopped at the WLC 13. Once again, the Green Knights opted to go for the field-goal, but this time Savon Goodwin took a great angle to block the kick.
That gave Wisconsin Lutheran one last chance to tie the score. Justin Parbs gave his team a fresh set of downs with an 11-yard carry and a 17 yard pass by LaBorde to Trevion Green put the ball at the St. Norbert 46. Two plays later, LaBorde tried to goal for the homerun pass, but it was intercepted by Drew Jurack to seal the victory.
Laborde finished 5-20 for 92 yards and three interceptions. Parbs had a huge day on the ground, carrying the ball 25 times for 116 yards. Green had five catches for 97 yards. The defense was led by Ty Castillo, who made 10 tackles and had the only sack of the day for the Warriors.
The defense held St. Norbert to 156 yards passing and 359 yards of total offense.
Next week, Wisconsin Lutheran College (1-4) welcomes Rockford (1-5). Kickoff is scheduled for 6:00.
by Robert Pannier