The Nebraska Wesleyan offense had their best scoring output of the season and the Prairie Wolves held off a late Briar Cliff rally as NWU defeated Briar Cliff, 34-27 in the 2010 Homecoming football game on Saturday (Oct. 23) at Abel Stadium in Lincoln.
NWU wins its second straight game to improve to 3-4 on the season, while Briar Cliff falls to 2-6 overall.
Nebraska Wesleyan led 34-6 in the fourth quarter, but Briar Cliff did not give up as they rallied to score three touchdowns in the final six minutes of the game. BCU recovered one onside kick, but could not get the final attempt in the final minute.
Four different Nebraska Wesleyan players scored their first career touchdowns in the contest on Saturday. Matt Edwards caught his first career touchdown pass, while Matt Sharkey and Tim Immonen both got their initial rushing touchdown. Dan Sloup also got his first career TD as he opened the game with a pick “6” to give the NWU defense their fifth touchdown on the year.
The Prairie Wolves got on the board without the offense even taking the field as Sloup intercepted Lehi Tonga and returned it 30 yards for the score just 1:37 into the contest. On the second offensive possession, Matt Edwards caught a tight end throwback screen and followed his blockers into the end zone from 26 yards out to put NWU up 14-3 at the end of the first quarter.
Right before halftime, fullback Matt Sharkey bolted up the middle for 12 yards to put NWU ahead 20-3 as the PAT failed. Briar Cliff added another field goal as time expired in the first half to make the score 20-6 at halftime.
To start the second half, NWU put together its most impressive offensive drive of the season. The Prairie Wolves marched 63 yards on 15 plays and chewed up over seven minutes as the drive was capped off by a 1-yard TD plunge from Tim Immonen.
The final score was a 17-yard touchdown run from Steve Fricke as he bounced off a defender and got the corner to put NWU ahead 34-6 with just 8:48 to play.
Troy Dobbins caught a 13-yard pass from Tonga with 6:05 left for the first Chargers touchdown. After an interception, Briar Cliff then drove 95 yards capped off by a Tonga TD pass to Zac Kliment.
BCU then recovered an onside kick and went 62 yards as Tonga scampered for a 22-yard touchdown run.
The final onside kick went off a NWU player again, but Cody Eiler jumped on the ball.
NWU had a very balanced offensive attack with 300 total yards, 152 on the ground and 148 passing. Fricke led the rushing game with 59 yards on 13 carries. Nate Hauptman finished 12-17 for 148 yards through the air with a touchdown, but was intercepted twice. Seven different players caught passes for the Prairie Wolves.
Lehi Tonga ended the game 32-55 for 264 yards with two touchdowns and rushed the ball 13 times for 65 yards with a TD.
Brett Kaczor led the NWU defense for the second straight game with 13 tackles, including 3.0 tackles-for-loss and a sack.